Jordan says it will host conference to coordinate aid to Gaza


Amman(Reuters) – Jordan on Thursday will host an international conference attended by the main U.N. bodies and regional and international relief agencies to coordinate humanitarian aid to war-devastated Gaza, official media said.

U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths and key U.N. bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in ramping up aid to Gaza will be present at the conference, along with representatives of Western and Arab countries involved in the aid effort, they said.

The conference, to be held behind closed doors, will be addressed by King Abdullah who has been lobbying Western leaders to back a U.N. resolution that calls for an immediate ceasefire.

A four-day truce that was extended two days has brought the first respite in the bombardment of Gaza, with much of the northern part of the coastal territory of 2.3 million inhabitants having been reduced to rubble.

The monarch has accused Israel of committing war crimes with a relentless bombing campaign that has killed at least 15,000 people, according to Gaza health authorities, and a siege of the enclave that prevented for weeks the entry of medicine, food and fuel and cut electricity supplies.

The Israeli actions were in response to an Oct. 7 rampage into southern Israel by Hamas militants, who killed some 1,200 people and took more than 200 hostages back to Gaza.

Officials say the king will call on participants to push Israel to end its siege of the enclave and allow unimpeded flow of goods by opening additional border crossings.

U.N. officials said they were already urging Israel to reopen the Kerem Shalom crossing that had been used to carry more than 60% of truckloads going into Gaza before the current conflict.

Currently, most trucks carrying aid through Rafah – the only open entry point into Gaza – has to first go through Israeli inspections at the Nitzana crossing, to ensure that neither fuel nor dual usage goods are allowed.

The inspection system has delayed desperately needed aid, aid workers say.

Jordan Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, in an address to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, urged the world body to adopt a resolution to end to the war, saying the Security Council’s “silence was giving Israel a cover for its crimes.”

“The only path to security and peace was the end of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land,” he said.

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