Officials from Western and Arab countries, the United Nations, and NGO organizations are meeting in Paris to discuss ways to provide help to civilians in Gaza during Israel’s war on the Palestinian enclave.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has called for a “humanitarian pause” in the conflict, wants the summit on Thursday to address the beleaguered Palestinian enclave’s growing needs, such as food, water, health supplies, electricity, and fuel.
According to the French president, around 50 countries are likely to attend, including major European countries, the United States, and regional powers such as Jordan, Egypt, and the Gulf countries.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh will also be present. However, Israeli authorities will not attend the summit.
The director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the UN’s top humanitarian official, and the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross are all slated to speak on the most pressing needs in Gaza. Financial assistance and other ways to assist Gaza’s civilians will also be discussed.
More than 1.5 million Palestinians have fled their homes, accounting for around 70% of Gaza’s population, and an estimated $1.2 billion is required to respond to the situation in Palestinian communities.
The US has unambiguously backed Israel in its attack on Gaza, though it wants its ally to avoid besieging or reoccupying Gaza and to alleviate the escalating humanitarian catastrophe.
Washington has backed Israel’s rejection of a cease-fire in the war, as well as its onslaught on Gaza in response to Hamas’ October 7 attacks.
According to the Gaza Health Ministry, Israel’s aerial bombardment and house-to-house ground invasion have killed over 10,500 people, the majority of whom are children and women.