France to host international conference on Gaza next week: diplomats – Council

PARIS: France will host an international humanitarian conference for civilians in Gaza on November 9 to coordinate aid for the besieged Palestinian enclave, three diplomatic sources said.

While Paris offered its support to Israel in the wake of the deadly Hamas attack on October 7, there is growing concern over civilian casualties, which have risen sharply as a result of Israeli retaliatory bombing that has left thousands dead, wounded and displaced in Gaza.

President Emmanuel Macron confirmed to journalists in Brittany that the conference will take place.

The conference will be held at the level of heads of state, government and foreign ministers. Key regional stakeholders such as Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf Arab states, as well as major Western and European powers, will be invited. International institutions and organizations will also be present, diplomats said.

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The Palestinian Authority will be present, but Israel is not expected to be invited, they said.

The conference will aim to mobilize financial resources with several sectors identified for urgent support based on United Nations assessments of immediate needs.

Restoring water, fuel and electricity supplies would be among the topics discussed, while ensuring accountability processes are in place to ensure that aid is not diverted to Hamas.

France will send two helicopter carriers off the coast of Gaza as it works with Israeli and Egyptian authorities to find a way to provide medical aid to people affected by bombings in the besieged area.

Diplomats said there would be discussion on establishing a maritime corridor to use sea lanes to send humanitarian aid to Gaza, as well as how ships could be used to help the wounded in Gaza.

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