Cairo Peace Summit ends without Gaza breakthrough

  • Arab leaders demand finish to decades-long cycle of violence
  • Urge renewed effort to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace
  • Abbas says Palestinians won’t depart their land
  • France urges help hall into Gaza

CAIRO, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Arab leaders at a Cairo summit on Saturday condemned Israeli bombardment of Gaza as Europeans mentioned civilians ought to be shielded, however with Israel and senior U.S. officers absent there was no settlement in the direction of containing the violence.

Egypt, which referred to as the assembly and hosted it, mentioned it had hoped contributors would name for peace and resume efforts to resolve the decades-long Palestinian quest for statehood.

But the assembly ended without leaders and international ministers agreeing a joint assertion, two weeks right into a battle that has killed 1000’s and visited a humanitarian disaster on the blockaded Gaza enclave of 2.3 million individuals.

Diplomats attending the talks had not been optimistic of a breakthrough, with Israel getting ready a floor invasion of Gaza aimed toward wiping out the militant Palestinian group Hamas that rampaged by means of its cities on Oct. 7, killing 1,400 individuals.

Gaza’s Health Ministry mentioned on Saturday Israel’s air and missile strikes had killed not less than 4,385 Palestinians because the Hamas assault.

While Arab and Muslim states referred to as for an instantaneous finish to Israel’s offensive, Western international locations principally voiced extra modest objectives comparable to humanitarian reduction for civilians.

Jordan’s King Abdullah denounced what he termed world silence about Israel’s assaults, which have killed 1000’s in Hamas-ruled Gaza and remodeled 1,000,000 homeless, and urged an even-handed method to the Israeli-Palestinian battle.

“The message the Arab world is hearing is that Palestinian lives matter less than Israeli ones,” he mentioned, including he was outraged and grieved by acts of violence waged towards harmless civilians in Gaza, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas mentioned Palestinians wouldn’t be displaced or pushed off their land.

“We won’t leave, we won’t leave,” he informed the summit.

France referred to as for a humanitarian hall into Gaza that it mentioned might result in a ceasefire. Britain and Germany each urged Israel’s navy to indicate restraint and Italy mentioned it was essential to keep away from escalation.

The United States, Israel’s closest ally and an important participant in all previous peace efforts within the area, solely despatched its Cairo cost d’affaires who didn’t deal with the assembly in public.

European Council President Charles Michel mentioned the primary objective of the summit was “to listen to each other”.

However, “we understand that we need to work more together” on points together with the humanitarian scenario, avoiding a regional escalation and a Palestinian-Israeli peace course of, he added.

Israel has vowed to wipe the Iranian-backed Hamas militant group “off the face of the earth” over the shock Oct. 7 assault, the deadliest Palestinian militant assault in Israel’s 75-year historical past.

It has mentioned it informed Palestinians to maneuver south inside Gaza for their very own security, though the coastal strip is simply 45 km (28 miles) lengthy and Israeli air strikes have additionally hit the south.


The assembly was meant to discover the best way to head off a wider regional battle. But diplomats knew public settlement can be exhausting due to sensitivities round requires a ceasefire, whether or not to incorporate point out of Hamas’ assault and Israel’s proper to defend itself.

Arab states concern the offensive might drive Gaza residents completely from their properties and even into neighbouring states – as occurred when Palestinians fled or had been compelled from their properties within the 1948 battle following Israel’s creation.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi mentioned his nation opposed what he referred to as the displacement of Palestinians into Egypt’s largely desert Sinai area, including the one answer was an impartial Palestinian state.

Egypt fears insecurity close to the border with Gaza in northeastern Sinai, the place it confronted an Islamist insurgency that peaked after 2013 and has now largely been suppressed.

Jordan, dwelling to many Palestinian refugees and their descendants, fears a wider conflagration would give Israel the possibility to expel Palestinians en masse from the West Bank.

King Abdullah mentioned compelled displacement “is a war crime according to international law, and a red line for all of us.”

Shortly earlier than the summit opening, vans loaded with humanitarian help started getting into the Rafah crossing into Gaza. Egypt has been attempting for days to channel humanitarian reduction to Gaza by means of the crossing, the one entry level not managed by Israel.

Editing by Mark Heinrich, Toby Chopra and Ros Russell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Correspondent overlaying politics and economics in Sudan in addition to Egypt. Work has centered on the Sudanese rebellion, financial disaster, and transitional interval. Previously lined the Gulf based mostly out of Dubai and earlier than Reuters was a fellow at The Intercept, after graduating from Columbia Journalism School and Harvard University.

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