The Egyptian source added that there “is a tendency to invite Iran to attend the summit, as it is an active party in the current crisis”.
The United States President Joe Biden is reportedly attending next week’s international conference on Gaza that is scheduled to take place in Egypt, a Cairo diplomatic source told Al Araby Al Jadeed on Monday.
“Officials in the White House confirmed to their counterparts in Cairo the participation of the American president, as Biden is scheduled to visit Israel before his arrival in Egypt,” the anonymous source told the Qatar-based news outlet.
The summit is scheduled to take place in Cairo on 21 October with the confirmed attendance of Qatar, Palestine, Jordan, Turkiye and the US.
Egyptian President Abdelfattah El-Sisi had invited Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the summit on Monday through a written letter, an Amiri Diwan statement confirmed.
Speaking to Al Araby Al Jadeed, the Egyptian source added that there “is a tendency to invite Iran to attend the summit, as it is an active party in the current crisis.”
While there have been no confirmations over Iran’s possible attendance at the meeting, Tehran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian had separately called for an emergency meeting of foreign ministers from Islamic countries on Sunday.
Egypt’s urgent meeting comes amid the ongoing Israeli bombardment campaign on Gaza which started last week. Within 11 days, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have killed over 2,808 Palestinians, including at least 1,000 children, and wounded more than 11,000 others.
However, the figures are only expected to rise as Israel continues to bombard the besieged Palestinian enclave.
Cairo is among a number of regional countries at the forefront of de-escalation efforts and held intensified discussions with its regional partners, chief of which is Qatar.
The close communications between Doha and Cairo also dealt with the dire humanitarian crisis on the ground in Gaza and possible mechanisms to ensure the safe passage of urgent aid to 2.3 million Palestinians under siege.
On Monday, Qatar joined the international community in delivering aid to Gaza by dispatching the first of three Qatar Emiri Air Force flights to Al Arish International Airport in the Sinai peninsula, carrying 37 tonnes of aid.
Egyptian authorities would later deliver the aid through the shared Egypt-Gaza Rafah border crossing, which has been closed since last week amid Israel’s ongoing aggression.
The crossing has been hit by Israeli attacks at least three times, damaging much of its infrastructure from the Palestinian side.
The establishment of a safe humanitarian corridor was also on the agenda of last week’s discussions between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and officials from the region, including Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
On Friday, Blinken met with Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, with hopes from the American side to secure the release of Israelis captured by Hamas during last week’s surprise attack.
The two diplomats told the press at the Amiri Diwan in Doha that both countries have been working closely to establish a safe humanitarian corridor.
“What we can see in Gaza Strip and shortage of basic needs, no electricity – because of the bombardment,” the Qatari foreign minister said, describing the situation on the ground in the Strip as “a disaster”.
However, Blinken claimed efforts to get humanitarian aid into Gaza were “complicated”.
Blinken appeared to receive major resistance throughout most of his regional visits, in which he repeatedly affirmed Washington’s support for Israel’s so-called right to “self-defence”.
A Washington Post report on Sunday claimed that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, widely known as MbS, had kept Blinken waiting for “several hours” for the meeting and only showed up the next morning.
When the meeting commenced, MbS had stressed the need to halt the Israeli aggression “that claimed the lives of innocent people” and lifting the siege on Gaza, the Post reported.
Then in Egypt, President Sisi publicly told Blinken that Israel’s attacks on Gaza have “exceeded the right of self-defence” and turned into “collective punishment.” The bold statement came despite Egypt being among the first countries in the region to establish ties with Israel.
President Biden is now scheduled to visit Tel Aviv on Wednesday, where he will reiterate Israel’s “right and duty” to self-defence.
As Israel’s main ally, the US annually pumps some $3 billion into Tel Aviv’s economy, actively backing its ongoing attacks against Palestinians living under 75 years of occupation.
American media, citing defence officials, reported on Tuesday that about 2,000 US troops have been told to prepare for a possible deployment to Israel, though it remains unclear whether they would go to nearby countries to fight Hamas.
The IOF has been seen positioning tanks along the Gaza border since Sunday, in what has been described as the “largest pull-up of Israeli reservists in Israel’s history” amid plans of a full-scale ground invasion.
The spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Obeida, said in a televised speech on Monday that the IOF’s threat of launching a ground aggression against Palestinians “does not intimidate” the resistance group.
“The occupation’s threat to launch a ground aggression against our people does not intimidate us, and we are prepared for it,” Abu Obeida said.
He added: “We tell the enemy that your entry will be a new opportunity to hold you harshly accountable for what you are committing against us.”
The government media office in Gaza said on Tuesday that the casualties in the latest Israeli aggression have “exceeded all the wars that Gaza has been exposed to in recent years”.
“The international community must take serious and immediate steps to stop the crime of ethnic cleansing. We demand a quick response to distress calls by bringing relief aid to citizens and humanitarian aid to the service sectors,” it said in a statement.
Since the start of the deadly war, the IOF destroyed 3,731 residential buildings, including 10,500 housing units, while partially damaging 10,000 others and putting 18 schools out of service, according to Wafa.
The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said last week that Israel turned Gaza into “a hellhole”, with at least 14 Palestinians getting killed every hour. The IOF has dropped at least 6,000 bombs on the densely populated area, the equivalent to a quarter of a nuclear bomb, the rights entity confirmed.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the United Nations sounded the alarm over “an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe” in the besieged Gaza Strip, warning that more than two million people in Gaza are facing a life-threatening lack of basic resources.
“In fact, an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding under our eyes,” Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said.
He added that “there is not one drop of water, not one grain of wheat, not a litre of fuel that has been allowed into the Gaza Strip for the last eight days”.