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Ministers meet in Brussels to discuss aid and support for Palestinians

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A ministerial summit, described as ‘an international partners meeting on Palestine’, has been called for Sunday 26 May in Brussels. For security reasons, the gathering of foreign ministers was not officially announced until it was underway, writes Political Editor Nick Powell.

However Ireland’s representative, Tánaiste Micheal Martin, said last week, when his country recognised Palestine as a state, that on Sunday, he would travel to Brussels to meet more than 40 Arab, European and other international partners, “to discuss how recognition can make a concrete, practical impact to ending this horrible conflict and implementing a two state solution, based on a comprehensive vision of piece that the Arab states have developed”. 

The meeting is chaired by Norweigian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide and hosted by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell. It brings together representatives of major donors, as well as the United Nations and other international organisations, together with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammed Mustafa.

This ministerial meeting is described as an opportunity to exchange views about the plans and priorities of the Palestinian Authority. Its discussions include how the international community can best support the new government’s reform agenda, as well as the strengthening of Palestinian institutions and their capacity.

Meanwhile on the ground, the Israeli Defence Forces have stated that humanitarian efforts to aid Gaza are increasing, with 1,806 pallets of food landed at the floating pier built by the United States. They also say that the number of trucks crossing from Isreal has doubled in week.

The Israeli Navy and other forces are “working in cooperation with the US to operate the floating pier for humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip”, with the pier in use for the first time. The food pallets were transferred in 127 trucks to the logistics centres operated in Gaza by international aid agencies.

At the two land crossings from Israel, 2,065 trucks in the last week have carried food, water, medical equipment and equipment for shelters to Gazan civilians. The aid transferred included 232 trucks containing flour for the World Food Programme to supply bakeries in the Gaza Strip. 352,000 litres of diesel and other fuel was brought in to supply essential centres, hospitals and shelters run by the international community in Gaza.

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