By John Ikani
The planned Summit involving leaders from Palestine, the United States, Jordan, and Egypt, scheduled just hours before President Joe Biden’s visit to the region, has been abruptly called off.
This cancellation follows a devastating attack on a Gaza hospital which claimed the lives of no fewer than 500 people as reported by the Hamas-led government.
The scrapping of the summit deals a significant setback to President Biden’s diplomatic initiatives in addressing the Middle East crisis.
Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, stressed the urgency of ending the conflict, stating, “There is no use in talking now about anything except stopping the war.”
President Biden’s itinerary has been revised; he will no longer travel to Jordan and will exclusively visit Israel, according to the White House.
A spokesperson from the White House clarified, “After consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and considering the days of mourning announced by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and the planned meeting with these two leaders and President Sisi of Egypt.”
In a statement, President Biden expressed his dismay over the explosion at Gaza’s Al Ahli Arab Hospital, emphasizing the tragic loss of life. He also conveyed his commitment to safeguarding civilian lives during conflicts, expressing condolences for the patients, medical staff, and other innocent individuals affected by this tragedy.
The summit’s primary objectives were aimed at facilitating humanitarian aid into Gaza and striving to reduce tensions in the region.
Hamas accused Israel of being responsible for the hospital incident, while Israel attributed it to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group.
King Abdullah II condemned the strike as a “shame on humanity” and urged Israel to halt its military operations in Gaza immediately.
Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, accused Israel of crossing “all red lines” with the strike and labelled it a “heinous war crime.