Representatives of about 80 countries and international organizations met in Paris-France on November 9 to discuss ways to provide assistance to civilians and evacuate the injured in the Gaza Strip in the context of continuing conflict between Israel and the armed group Hamas. .
Speaking at the conference, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was necessary to immediately temporarily cease fire for humanitarian purposes in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, countries should make efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement.
The French leader also called on the conference to find solutions to meet the growing needs of food, water, medical supplies, electricity and fuel in the Gaza Strip. More than 1.5 million people (about 70% of the population in the Gaza Strip) have fled their homes and an estimated $1.2 billion is needed to respond to the crisis in the Palestinian territories.
At the conference, Cyprus President Nicos Christodoulides proposed a plan for a maritime humanitarian corridor to the Gaza Strip to create “a large, sustainable and secure flow of humanitarian assistance in the short, medium and long term”. The ships will deliver aid from Cyprus’ main port Limassol, about 410 km from the Gaza Strip.
French officials also considered transporting the injured to a hospital ship in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip. Paris has sent a helicopter carrier to the coast of Cyprus and is preparing another ship capable of providing medical assistance.
International conference on the situation in the Gaza Strip in Paris-France on 9 November. Photo: Reuters
The conference also discussed other measures, including financial assistance, to help the people in the Gaza Strip. Since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7, France has provided US$21.4 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza, and sent 54 tonnes of relief goods to Egypt via 3 flights. The German government said it would provide a new funding package of 20 million euros for Palestine, in addition to disbursing 71 million euros to the United Nations Relief and Employment Agency for Palestine Refugees.
Meanwhile, the flow of people evacuating areas in the northern Gaza Strip to escape the conflict is continuously increasing. The Israeli government said that 50,000 people passed through the evacuation corridor on 8 November, but this number has not been confirmed.
According to The Guardian, this is the 5th consecutive day that Israel Defense Forces have opened evacuation corridors and the number of people fleeing to the south is increasing. Earlier, the United Nations had said that the number had increased from 2,000 people on 5 November to 15,000 people on 7 November.
According to Reuters, on November 9, intense fighting continued between Israel and Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip. Hamas claimed to have inflicted heavy losses on the Israeli side. Some sources in Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement said that Israeli tanks encountered strong resistance from Hamas gunmen moving through underground tunnels.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed on 8 November that the country would not agree to a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip unless hostages captured by Hamas in the October 7 attack were released.
The leader made the above statement after the media reported talks by Qatar with the US for an agreement to release 10-15 hostages. In return, Israel will temporarily cease fire to support humanitarian activities in the Gaza Strip for 1 to 2 days. A day earlier, a Hamas spokesperson had said that Israel had obstructed the release of 12 foreign hostages.