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AQABA: Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas called Wednesday for pressure to be maintained for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war and to protect Palestinian civilians.

The three leaders had gathered for a summit in the city of Aqaba, on Jordan’s Red Sea coast, to discuss the three-month-old war.

A royal palace statement issued after the meeting said they had “reiterated the need to maintain pressure to push for ending the Israeli aggression on Gaza, and protecting unarmed civilians”.

They also “highlighted the need to ensure the sustainable delivery of sufficient relief and humanitarian aid to alleviate the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza”, the statement said.

Jordan’s King Abdullah says US must push Israel to agree to ceasefire in Gaza

The trio “warned against attempts to re-occupy parts of Gaza or establish ‘safe zones’ in the strip, stressing the need to enable Gazans to return to their homes”, the statement added.

They also “reaffirmed their rejection of any Israeli plans to displace Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, urging international denouncement and rejection of these plans.”

In recent weeks, Israeli cabinet ministers, including Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, have called for the deliberate removal of Gazans from the territory and the resumption of Israeli settlement.

There is no indication this is official Israeli policy and a draft cabinet plan for post-war Gaza rejected any place for Israeli civilians in the coastal territory. Israel withdrew from Gaza and removed its settlements in 2005.

The royal palace statement said the three leaders also agreed to “maintain coordination with Arab states and active players” to reach a peace agreement based on a two-state solution.

The summit coincided with a Middle East tour by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met King Abdullah on Sunday in Amman and Abbas in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, on Wednesday.

While meeting with Abbas, Blinken said that Washington supported “tangible steps” towards the creation of a Palestinian state – a long-term goal which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-right government has opposed.

The war in Gaza was triggered by the surprise Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7, in which around 1,140 people were killed, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Israel responded by launching a relentless bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza aimed at destroying Hamas, classified as a “terrorist” group by Israel, the United States and the European Union, which has killed more than 23,350 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.


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HashBrown® Jan 11, 2024 04:41am
The best thing that these three could do for the Palestinians would be to walk under the first israeli tank that they come across.
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