Riyadh To Host Meet on Gaza

Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih indicated the imminent arrangement of both an emergency Arab summit in Riyadh and an Islamic summit in the coming days…reports Asian Lite News

Saudi Arabia is all set to facilitate diplomatic discussions by hosting key summits involving Arab and Islamic nations to address an ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, according to Khalid Al-Falih, the Kingdom’s investment minister.

Speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, Al-Falih indicated the imminent arrangement of both an emergency Arab summit in Riyadh and an Islamic summit in the coming days. These discussions align with an earlier announced meeting by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) set to take place to address the conflict on Sunday.

However, a statement from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday detailed the postponement of a third meeting initially planned for the weekend, bringing together leaders from the Arab League and the African Union.

This delay aims to prioritize the focus on the other two summits, which are part of Saudi Arabia’s leadership objective to steer these diplomatic gatherings toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict, as expressed by Al-Falih.

Additionally, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is anticipated to participate in the OIC summit hosted in Saudi Arabia, according to reports by Etemadonline news. Al-Falih also mentioned plans for a summit involving African nations, yet a specific date for this gathering was not disclosed. These efforts demonstrate a concentrated and multilateral approach towards seeking resolutions and fostering dialogue among nations affected by the conflict.

Jordan rejects talks on post-war Gaza plans

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has declined any potential talks on post-conflict scenarios in Gaza, describing such discourse as “unrealistic and unacceptable,” the media reported.

He made the remarks on Wednesday during a seminar attended by journalists and writers in the capital Amman, where he reaffirmed Jordan’s priority of calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, Xinhua news agency reported.

Safadi stressed on Jordan’s unwavering position against any “fragmented solutions” to the Gaza crisis.

He warned that dealing with issues in Gaza separately from that in the West Bank would “play into Israel’s hands,” which could potentially undermine the Palestinian cause and the Palestinians’ aspirations for statehood.

The Minister called for a comprehensive approach to the Palestinian cause, advocating for a political and just peace that ensures Palestinian rights and the establishment of their sovereign state based on the two-state solution.

Safadi reiterated the kingdom’s firm rejection of any forced displacement of Palestinians from their lands, equating it to “declaring war against Jordan that would be forcefully countered”.

40K People Moved to Southern Gaza

 The UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) said that since the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) created periodic evacuation “corridors” earlier this month, at least 40,000 people have walked from northern Gaza to the besieged enclave’s southern regions.

The IDF has repeatedly called on civilians to move south of Wadi Gaza — a waterway bisecting the center of the enclave — as it intensifies its assault on Hamas in Gaza City and northern Gaza.

The UNRWA said that UN monitors and NGOs are providing water and biscuits to evacuees just south of the Wadi Gaza.

For a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, the Israeli military opened the “corridor” along the main traffic artery, Salah Ad Deen Road, for residents to leave the north between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which was then extended by an hour, as people were still moving southwards.

It is estimated that about 50,000 people evacuated during the day, the largest number since the corridor opened, bringing the estimated figure since November 5 to 72,000.

Most evacuees move on foot and those who use vehicles leave them at the southern edge of Gaza city at the Al Kuwaiti roundabout.

The evacuees then walk 4-5 km down the corridor, with an estimated distance of up to 20 km for those traveling farthest, according to the UNRWA.   

Since the war broke out on October 7, about 1.5 million people in Gaza have been internally displaced, according to the UN agency.

Of them, nearly 725,000 are sheltering in 149 UNRWA facilities; 122,000 in hospitals, churches and public buildings; 131,134 in 94 non-UNRWA schools, and the remainder with host families. 

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