Gulf states pledge $100m in 'urgent' aid for Gaza

AFP , Wednesday 18 Oct 2023

The Gulf Cooperation Council on Tuesday announced $100 million in emergency aid for the Gaza Strip, as Israel bombards targets in the enclave during its war against Hamas militants.

Gulf Cooperation Council
File photo: A man walks past the flags of the countries attending the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit at Bayan palace in Kuwait City FP


After an extraordinary meeting in Muscat, the bloc's foreign ministers pledged "an urgent humanitarian relief operation" with "relief aid worth $100 million".

The top diplomats of the six GCC countries, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, met as at least 600 people were killed in strikes on a Gaza hospital compound sheltering displaced people, said Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Israel blamed a misfired rocket from Islamic Jihad, another Gaza-based militant group which has claimed to be fighting alongside Hamas.

After the Palestinian militants of Hamas attacked Israel11 days ago, and kill more than 1,400, Israel's retaliatory bombing raids that killed around 3,000 Gaza Strip.

The GCC meeting's final statement stressed "the necessity of ensuring the urgent delivery of this aid" without specifying how it will get to Gaza.

In recent days, Gulf countries have sent plane-loads of assistance to Egypt's El Arish, hoping to send it through the Rafah border point -- Gaza's only crossing that is not under Israeli control.

On Tuesday, hundreds of laden trucks headed along the 40-kilometre (25-mile) road from El Arish to Rafah, aid officials said.

GCC Secretary-General Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi "called on the international community to... demand an immediate halt to all forms of military escalation against defenceless civilians in Gaza", an English statement on the GCC website said.

The international community must also "categorically reject any calls to forcibly displace the Palestinian people from Gaza, as this represents a violation of basic human rights and international principles", it added.

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