King Inaugurates 'Call For Action: Urgent Humanitarian Response For Gaza' Conference At Dead Sea

(MENAFN- Jordan Times) DEAD SEA - his majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday said the people of Gaza have been suffering from death and devastation that has far surpassed any conflict in over twenty years.

“The spectre of famine looms large. Trauma is ever-present, the effects of which will remain for generations. And every corner of Gaza is marred by ruin,” King Abdulah said.

The King was speaking during the opening of the“Call for Action: Urgent Humanitarian Response for Gaza” one-day conference in the presence of HRH crown prince Hussein, which was held at the Dead Sea.

The“Call for Action: Urgent Humanitarian Response for Gaza” conference is held at the invitation of King Abdullah, Egypt President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, at the level of heads of state and government, and heads of international humanitarian and relief organisations, according to a Royal Court statement.

The international humanitarian response in Gaza has been severely lacking, with the delivery of aid facing obstacles at every level, King Abdullah warned.

Humanitarian access cannot wait for a ceasefire and cannot be subject to the political agendas of any party, the King added.

The King warned that without the action of everyone present today, West Bank tensions could escalate into a larger conflict that will leave a far more devastating impact on the region.

The King added:“We stand today at a critical juncture in human history. Our collective consciousness is being tested by the unfolding catastrophe in Gaza. Our very humanity is on the line.”

“We cannot abandon Gaza. It should be everyone's priority. History will judge us by our actions. It is a test of our humanity and sincerity,” the King said. (See full speech on page 4)

The conference at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre at the Dead Sea seeks to identify ways to bolster the international community's response to the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

Al Sisi said in his opening remarks that the responsibility for the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip lies directly on the Israeli side.

“It is the deliberate product of a destructive war of revenge against the [Gaza] Strip, its people, its infrastructure and its medical system in which the weapon of starvation is used,” Al Sisi said.

The Egyptian president also pointed out the siege that is enforced on Gaza, which is making the sector unviable and“to forcibly displace its residents from their lands without the slightest concern or respect for international conventions or moral humanitarian standards”.

Al Sisi called for sustainable peace and an immediate seizure of fire in Gaza as well as the immediate release of all hostages.

“We also call for the full respect of what the international law and international humanitarian law imposed to protect civilians and to refrain from targeting infrastructure, United Nations employees and workers in the medical and service sectors in the Gaza Strip,” Al Sisi said.

Also addressing the conference was United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres who said that it has been eight months of relentless suffering for Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

“The speed and scale of the carnage and killing in Gaza is beyond anything in my years as secretary-general,” Guterres said in his opening remarks.

At least 1.7 million people - 75 per cent of Gaza's population - have been displaced, many times over by Israel military attacks, according to Guterres.

“Nowhere is safe. Conditions are deplorable. The public health situation is beyond crisis levels,” Guterres added.

The UN chief warned that Gaza's hospitals lie in ruins and medical supplies and fuel are scarce or non-existent.

“More than 1 million Palestinians in Gaza do not have enough clean drinking water and face desperate levels of hunger. Over 50,000 children require treatment for acute malnutrition,” Guterres pointed out.

Despite the ocean of needs, at least half of all humanitarian aid missions are denied access, impeded, or cancelled due to operational or security reasons, Guterres added.

The UN official thanked King Abdullah and“the people of Jordan for the relief provided - including through aid convoys, airdrops, and field hospitals”.

“We all appreciate immensely your personal commitment to mobilise the international community and your persistent call for a robust coordination mechanism for the unimpeded and safe flow of sufficient aid to the people of Gaza,” Guterres said.

The UN chief urged the international community to support Jordan's efforts as it undertakes its critical role in assisting the people of Gaza and serving as a key regional humanitarian hub.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stressed in his opening remarks that it is time to stop the genocide that“our people in Gaza have been for eight months as well as the crimes of the occupation and its terrorist settlers that people in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, are suffering from.”

The Palestinian president pointed out the importance of the necessity of an immediate and permanent ceasefire, and the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, which will pave the way for the establishment of the State of Palestine and its assuming its full functions.

Abbas called on the Security Council and all parties of the international community to put pressure on Israel, in order to open all land crossings to the Gaza Strip, and hand it over to the new Palestinian government.


Jordan Times

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