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Cairo Peace Summit demands ‘ceasefire’ and increased aid for Gaza

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi (R), Jordanian King Abdullah II (C) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) attend The Cairo Peace Summit
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi (R), Jordanian King Abdullah II (C) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) attend The Cairo Peace Summit Copyright Royal Hashemite Court / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images
Copyright Royal Hashemite Court / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images
By Euronews with AFP
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The meeting has representatives from across the globe - including Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the State of Palestine - but Israel are not in attendance.

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Gathered "for peace" in Cairo, world leaders demanded on Saturday a "ceasefire" between Israel and Hamas, pleading for "massive" aid to Gaza and a definitive "solution" to 75 years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We must act now to end the nightmare,” UN boss Antonio Guterres said, speaking as more than 1,400 Israelis have been killed and 200 taken hostage in Israel by Hamas since its deadly attack on 7 October 7.

Nearly 4,400 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli reprisals in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry of Hama.

The Gaza Strip, now under "complete siege" by Israel, "needs a massive delivery of aid", added the Secretary General of the United Nations.

On Saturday, only 20 aid trucks passed from Egypt towards the Gaza Strip.

The UN says at least 100 trucks per day are needed for the 2.4 million Gazans deprived of food, fuel and other necessities.

Guterres launched his plea in front of the heads of state of Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, as well as an audience of Arab and European heads of diplomacy, including the bosses of the Arab League, the African Union and the European Union.

Russia, China, Japan, Canada, the UK and the United States were also represented.

Also at the summit, King Abdullah II of Jordan called for "an immediate ceasefire", while Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi affirmed that "the only solution to the Palestinian question is justice", emphasising the "right" of the Palestinians "to establish their State".

Pedro Sanchez, the Prime Minister of Spain, urged the international community “not to let the conflict become a regional crisis”.

“We cannot postpone a solution,” Sanchez urged.

Guterres also touched on "the broader context", referring to "56 years of occupation with no end in sight".

“Nothing can justify the reprehensible attack by Hamas” which must, he continued, “immediately and unconditionally release” the approximately 200 hostages it kidnapped in Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, called for "the end of the occupation of the Palestinian Territories by Israel and the two-state solution".

Israel is not represented at the summit, but Abbas repeated “we will not leave” three times in response to the Israeli order to evacuate Palestinians from the north of the Gaza Strip to the southern border of the Gaza Strip.

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Palestinians see it as a first step towards "a forced displacement" of their people towards the Egyptian Sinai which would, according to Mr. Abbas, amount to "a second Nakba" - meaning ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic - a reference to the expulsion of around 760,000 Palestinians to the creation of Israel in 1948.

King Abdullah II of Jordan openly criticised the global community for their apparent lack of input.

“The world is silent”, he said, adding, “this is a very dangerous message. The Arab world hears it clearly: Palestinian lives are worth less than Israeli lives. Our lives are worth less than other lives… human rights have limits: they stop at borders, races and religions.

Egypt, the host of the summit, wants to be on the diplomatic front line on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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They were the first Arab country to sign peace with Israel in 1979 and Cairo has long been a traditional mediator between Israel and the Palestinians - notably Hamas.

Egypt also controls the Rafah crossing point, the only border with Gaza which is not not in the hands of Israel.

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