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Israel refuses to attend Paris humanitarian conference for Gaza

November 9, 2023 at 3:37 pm

People, holding banners and Palestinian flags, gather to stage a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Paris, France on November 4, 2023 [Ümit Dönmez – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli officials have refused to attend today’s “humanitarian conference” for Gaza in Paris, organised by French President Emmanuel Macron. Despite its absence, Macron’s office insists that Israel shares “an interest in the humanitarian situation improving in Gaza.”

Macron and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a conversation on Tuesday, and they are scheduled to engage in further discussions following the end of the aid conference, explained the Elysee Palace.

This comes after Macron also spoke with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, on the same day. Both countries are involved in efforts to increase humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on Gaza since a cross border attack by Hamas on 7 October. At least 10,569 Palestinians have been killed, including 4,324 children and 2,823 women, and 26,475 have been wounded. Up to 1,600 Israelis have been killed in the same period.

The World Health Organisation warned yesterday of an outbreak of infectious diseases in the Gaza Strip due to the disruption of health facilities and water and sanitation systems as a result of the Israeli bombing.

The WHO stressed the need for “urgent, accelerated access for humanitarian aid – including fuel, water, food, and medical supplies – into and throughout the Gaza Strip.” It added that “all parties to the conflict must abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including health care.”

READ: UN: Gaza faces health crisis due to limited water access