Representatives from 19 states, UN, EU, Middle East Quartet attend Gaza summit centered on humanitarian crisis; Greenblatt: This is not about politics. This is about the health, safety and happiness of the people of Gaza, and of all Palestinians, Israelis and Egyptians.
The Palestinians boycotted a special summit organized by the White House to address the Gaza Strip’s humanitarian crisis.
The summit, which was held in Washington on Tuesday, was attended by 19 state representatives, as well as representation from the EU, the United Nations and the Middle East Quartet.
The summit was organized by President Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt and Trump’s special advisor Jared Kushner. Following the PA’s announcement that it would boycott the summit which it referred to as a “stakeholder’s summit”, Greenblatt responded, stating “We regret that the Palestinian Authority is not here with us today. This is not about politics. This is about the health, safety and happiness of the people of Gaza, and of all Palestinians, Israelis and Egyptians.”
He added, “Everything we do must be done in a way that ensures we do not put the security of Israelis and Egyptians at risk and that we do not inadvertently empower Hamas, which bears responsibility for Gaza’s suffering.”
The meeting was also another sign of increasing Arab cooperation with the State of Israel as representatives from Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Israel were all part of the summit.
A senior official for the Palestinian Authority, Ahmad Majdalani, addressed the summit, rejecting that a humanitarian solution is needed for Gaza, but a political one. He stated ahead of the conference “The United States is well aware that the real cause of the tragedy of the Gaza Strip is the unjust Israeli siege. What is needed is a political solution to this issue, not a humanitarian.”
Hamas, which could not attend as it is on the United States terrorism list, deemed the summit as an attempt by the United States to “exploit the crises in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of its people” through its peace plan efforts.
State officials and representatives from Israel and the region, Canada, Cyprus, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK were part of the summit.
Photo: The Gaza Strip, Wikimedia Commons, 2018