World leaders and top officials from over a dozen countries convened in Cairo for the Cairo Peace Summit, a diplomatic effort to de-escalate the Israel-Hamas conflict. The summit is hosted by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. It aims to address the immediate humanitarian crisis in Gaza and find a pathway towards lasting peace in the region.

Participating countries at the summit include Jordan, France, Germany, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, Qatar, and South Africa. The Cairo Peace Summit also saw the participation of officials from the United Nations and the European Union.

In his opening remarks, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi stressed the urgency of the situation and called on leaders to reach an agreement for a road map to address the “humanitarian catastrophe” in the Gaza Strip. The plan includes provisions for providing aid to Gaza, establishing a ceasefire agreement, and initiating negotiations aimed at achieving a two-state solution.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was a key participant in the summit. He used the platform to advocate for the opening of humanitarian corridors to facilitate the delivery of essential aid to the people of Gaza. He also underlined the unwavering determination of the Palestinian people, stating, “We will remain on our land.”

The absence of Israeli representatives has led to lowered expectations regarding the potential outcomes of the meeting.

Hamas recently attempted to release two captives, a move met with Israeli refusal. Israel, in turn, accused Hamas of spreading what they termed ” mendacious propaganda” for publicising the matter.

Israel has announced an escalation of air attacks on Gaza and has maintained readiness for a possible ground invasion.

An aid convoy from Egypt entered Gaza though monitors expressed concerns about the sufficiency of this aid. They stress the urgent need for a long-term aid agreement to address the humanitarian crisis.

Israel’s decision to block fuel transports into Gaza has drawn criticism from various quarters, including the UN’s aid chief, Martin Griffiths. Many view the transport of fuel as crucial for humanitarian purposes.

The Israeli military initially warned civilians in northern Gaza that they might be seen as collaborators with “terrorism” if they did not evacuate. However, this was later attributed to an improper Arabic translation.

Conflict continues along the Israel-Lebanon border, with Hezbollah reporting six fighters killed and Israel reporting one soldier killed.

In response to missile fire from Lebanon, Israel’s military conducted strikes on several Hezbollah positions. Concerns are growing that Iran-backed Hezbollah, with its significant arsenal of rockets, missiles, and drones, might initiate a new front in the Israel-Hamas conflict with a large-scale attack on northern Israel.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency documented Israeli shelling in multiple villages. Shelling has intensified near an Israeli army post across from the Lebanese village of Yaroun.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Americans and other dual citizens have sought to leave southern Gaza via the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Many faced long delays and disappointment as the crossing remained closed.