Oct 11, 2023

Over the weekend, several countries altered their initial statements as details of the attack unfolded. The UAE, Bahrain, and China all modified their primary statements to include explicit condemnation of the killing and kidnapping of Israeli civilians. The UAE and Bahrain also revised their initial statements to specifically condemn Hamas.


Which Arab Middle Eastern country condemned Hamas or actions of Hamas the most? I was reading this and I was surprised that Bahrain, the UAE condemned Hamas, so I was wondering which is the country that condemned Hamas the most (highest number of instances where the country condemned Hamas or an action by Hamas). I am not sure if there's a source with the exact count of these official international reactions for each country. I couldn't find anything.

  • 4
    I’m pretty sure the answer is Israel. Is there some reason why you think it isn’t?
    – Mike Scott
    Dec 7, 2023 at 7:37
  • 4
    @MikeScott I'm pretty sure he meant "arab country", rather than middle eastern.
    – Rekesoft
    Dec 7, 2023 at 7:48
  • 5
    I'm still not sure how you expect this to be measured. Number of statements? Some sentiment analysis applied to these? Dec 7, 2023 at 9:36
  • 1
    @Fizz his question includes "highest number of instances where the country condemned Hamas"
    – TKoL
    Dec 7, 2023 at 12:06
  • 2
    In general, in the Middle East among the Arab League countries, if Saudi Arabia or the UAE do anything in favor of Israel or USA, you can consider it as the most.
    – C.F.G
    Dec 7, 2023 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


Prior to the October 7 the Arab states systematically condemned Hamas. A list of such condemnations is given, e.g., in article Arab Critique and Condemnation of Hamas Before October 7, 2023 by the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy:

For years, Hamas was lambasted by leading Arab voices as a terrorist group that worked against Palestinian interests. And then October 7 happened.

The article also mentions that since October 7 Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have condemned Hamas by name.

Hamas was also recently condemned by Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia:

Such is the groundswell of Arab anger at those Israeli air strikes that Prince Turki, who was addressing a US audience at Rice University in Houston, is a rare Arab voice of criticism of Hamas in the current climate.

The group's acts, he said, went against Islamic injunctions not to harm civilians. The majority of those killed or kidnapped by Hamas were civilians.

(here and below the emphasis is mine)

AL-Jazeera points out in Hamas’s attack on Israel has changed the Middle East that Arab states are keeping a difficult balance: on the one hand, they are under the US pressure to condemn Hamas. Moreover, many of these states have conflicting relationships with Iran (a non-Arab state), while the Hamas is seen as an Iranian proxy:

The Hamas attack and the Israeli war on Gaza have also put regional governments in difficult positions. On one hand, the US has been pressuring its Arab allies, a number of whom had normalised relations with Israel, to condemn Hamas. Only the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain issued such statements.

On the other hand, Israel’s indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians has angered the Arab public and also put pressure on Arab governments to take action in solidarity with the Palestinians. There are already signs that the weight of public opinion is pushing Arab leaders to go against US wishes.

On the other hand, the Arab states are obliged to condemn Israel - yet, unlike in the past, they have taken few diplomatic steps against Israel - such as severing diplomatic and/or economic ties:

For the time being, pro-US Arab governments are resorting to strong rhetoric to quell public anger. But if Israel continues its deadly assault on Gaza, words will not be enough – they will have to take action by reversing normalisation with Israel, which could anger the US.

While Saudi Arabia has not publicly criticized Hamas, it apparently allowed and even encourage government controlled media to do so, Hushed opposition: behind Saudi Arabia's quiet criticism of Hamas:

Meanwhile, media coverage in the kingdom, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, indicates Saudi Arabia's dissatisfaction with Hamas, though not explicitly expressed in public statements.

London-based newspaper Al-Arab reported that "Saudi Arabia's silence regarding explicit criticism of Hamas and its responsibility for the escalation aligns with the trend of Arab and Islamic sympathy for Gaza - but in reality, it conceals the kingdom's true stance toward Hamas, which has directly harmed it.

[...] Contrary to other Arab countries, Saudi Arabia did not declare days of mourning for the casualties in Gaza, did not cancel planned events, continued to organize festivals and concerts, and even celebrated winning the bid to host Expo 2030.

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