US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will today meet with the Saudi, Qatari, Emirati and Egyptian foreign ministers as well as Palestinian representatives in Amman, Reuters has quoted the Jordanian foreign ministry as saying.
The Arab leaders will stress the “Arab stance calling for an immediate ceasefire, delivering humanitarian aid and ways of ending the dangerous deterioration that threatens the security of the region”, the ministry said in a statement.
Washington has maintained robust military and political support for Israel, while calling on its ally to take steps to avoid civilian deaths and address Gaza’s humanitarian crisis.
On a visit to the region, Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday and called for a humanitarian pause in fighting that he said would facilitate work to release hostages, allow aid into Gaza, but not prevent Israel from defending itself.
“That’s obviously completely insufficient and is probably not sustainable over time. It’s kind of an absurd approach to this,” said Adam Shapiro, director of advocacy for Israel-Palestine at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN).
“I don’t know who’s legally advising the US administration, but if they think that this is a way to compensate for international humanitarian law, they’re badly mistaken. That’s just not legitimate.”
Shapiro added that calling for pauses also paves the way for an “open-ended” conflict without accountability or political cost for Israel.
While in Israel on Friday, Blinken said temporarily halting the fighting would allow more aid into Gaza, protect Palestinian civilians and enable diplomacy to free captives held by Hamas.
“We believe that each of these efforts would be facilitated by humanitarian pauses, by arrangements on the ground that increase security for civilians and permit the more effective and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance,” he told journalists.