A wife of Dubai’s ruler condemned Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip and called on Thursday for urgent humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Palestinian area.
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein pleaded with the international community to halt the fighting and allow humanitarian workers in to deliver medicine and food.
wife of Dubai’s ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and a daughter of Jordan’s late King Hussein, Haya is a vocal advocate of humanitarian causes.
She called the almost two week long Israeli offensive to rout out Hamas group a slaughter.
Israel has said it must defend itself against the militants who have been lobbying rockets on southern Israeli towns. Since the offensive began Dec 27, the fighting has killed at least 748 Palestinians and 12 Israelis.
“This is a war that will scare our planet for generations to come, ” Haya said in a rare exclusive interview with The Associated Press. “It’s a slaughter in its simplest form … a new open wound on the region, that is key to world’s peace. Violence on all sides has to stop.
Israel has been suspending its offensive for three hours in the past two days to allow in aid, but the United Nations on Thursday halted deliveries, citing Israeli attacks on its staff and installations.
Since her marriage in 2004, Haya has taken an unusually public role in the Gulf _ a deeply conservative part of the Middle East, where ruler’s wives are rarely seen in public. The 34-year-old speaks on public welfare and works on public projects in the United Arab Emirates and in Jordan.
She also chairs Dubai’s International Humanitarian City and is United Nation’s Messenger of Peace.
“I wish I could talk of peace, ” Haya said. “But all I am able to ask for is survival for people facing certain death. ”
Haya’s half brother is King Abdullah II of Jordan. Their father, Hussein, signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994 and worked for peace in the Middel East before his death in 1999.
“I know peace is possible, if there is political will, ” Haya said.