Leaders from Jordan, US, Egypt and Palestine to hold Gaza summit

Meeting will discuss 'dangerous developments' in Gaza and their repercussions on the region

A scene of destruction in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, where further Israeli bombardments have taken place. AFP
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Jordan's King Abdullah II will host a four-way summit in Amman on Wednesday with US President Joe Biden, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to discuss the situation in Gaza.

The meeting will discuss the "dangerous developments" in Gaza and their repercussions on the region, as well as ways to ensure the entry of humanitarian and relief aid into the Strip, the Royal Court said on Tuesday.

Also on Wednesday, Mr Biden is to visit Israel to show support for its war on Hamas, after Washington said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to let humanitarian aid reach besieged Gazans.

The White House confirmed Mr Biden will visit Israel on Wednesday, saying he will “demonstrate his steadfast support for Israel in the face of Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack and to consult on next steps”.

At the summit in Amman, Mr Biden will "reiterate that Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination and discuss the humanitarian needs of civilians in Gaza”, the White House said.

Israel has vowed to annihilate the Hamas movement that controls Gaza after its gunmen killed 1,300 people, mainly civilians, in a rampage through southern Israeli towns on October 7, the deadliest single day in Israel's 75-year history.

Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip with air strikes that have killed more than 2,800 Palestinians, a quarter of them children, and driven around half of the 2.3 million Gazans from their homes. It has imposed a blockade on the enclave, halting food, fuel and medical supplies, which are rapidly running out.

Scores of lorries carrying vital supplies for Gaza headed towards the Rafah crossing in Egypt on Tuesday, the only access point to the enclave outside of Israel's control, but there was no clear indication that they would be able to enter.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken initially announced Mr Biden's planned visit at the end of hours of talks with Mr Netanyahu, in which he said the Israeli PM had agreed to develop a plan to get humanitarian aid to Gaza civilians. He gave no details.

The US has been seeking to prevent the conflict from spreading in the Middle East. Mr Blinken arrived in Israel on Monday to meet Mr Netanyahu after meetings in Egypt and Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington has held back-channel discussions with Tehran to warn Iran against entering the conflict.

Updated: October 17, 2023, 2:00 PM