President Isaac Herzog met world leaders at the COP28 UN Climate Conference in the United Arab Emirates last week.
Central to Herzog’s conversations with King Charles III, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and other dignitaries was the possibility of freeing the Israeli hostages held captive by Hamas in Gaza.
On the side of Herzog’s plane when he landed was a sign ‘Bring Them Home’.
Brief meetings took place as negotiations between mediators in Qatar occurred to extend a six-day ‘pause in fighting’ truce between Israel and Hamas. A complication was Hamas being unaware where remaining hostages were located as they are being held by other terror factions.
Herzog emphasized the release was a humanitarian duty for the family of nations and leaders of the region. Herzog called on everyone he met to utilize their political weight to speed up the process.
A photograph of Herzog shaking hands with Qatar’s Emir was the first of him with an Israeli diplomat. No details of the conversation were released by Herzog’s office. But the meeting was an important diplomatically.
Al Nayhan thanked Herzog for cooperation between Israel and the UAW that enabled an increase in humanitarian aid, construction of a field hospital in Rafah, and removal of injured children for treatment in the Emirates.
Herzog also met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who strongly condemned the terrorist activities of Hamas.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called on South American leaders to take part in efforts to return the hostages following his meeting with Herzog.
Herzog stressed Israel’s right and duty to defend itself against the security threat posed by Hamas.
Herzog’s efforts were ultimately dashed when Hamas broke the terms of the temporary truce.
Joining Herzog in Israel’s delegation due to the war with Hamas was 20 ministry officials including Head of the National Security Council of Israel Tzachi Hanegbi, Director General of the President’s Residence Eyal Shviki, and Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ronen Levi, along with a number of high-tech companies.