Jordan’s King Abdullah II delivered an urgent message at the recent Cairo Summit for Peace: “The only path to a safe and secure future for the people of the Middle East and the entire world—for the Jewish people, for Christians, for Muslims alike —starts with the belief that every human life is of equal value and it ends with two states, Palestine and Israel, sharing land and peace from the river to the sea. It is our duty as the international community to do whatever it takes to restart a meaningful political process that can take us to a just and sustainable peace on the basis of the two-state solution.”
“I am outraged and grieved by those acts of violence waged against innocent civilians in Gaza, in the West Bank, and Israel. The relentless bombing campaign underway in Gaza as we speak is cruel and unconscionable. It is collective punishment of a besieged and helpless people. It is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. It is a war crime,” King Abdullah said.
“Yet, the deeper the crisis cuts of cruelty, the less the world seems to care. Anywhere else, attacking civilian infrastructure and deliberately starving an entire population of food, water, electricity, and basic necessities would be condemned. Accountability would be enforced, immediately, unequivocally. And it has been done before—recently, in another conflict. But not in Gaza. It’s been weeks since Israel put in place the complete siege of the Gaza Strip. And still, for the most part, global silence,” he lamented.
King Abdullah added: “Yet the message the Arab world is hearing is loud and clear: Palestinian lives matter less than Israeli ones. Our lives matter less than other lives. The application of international law is optional. And human rights have boundaries—they stop at borders, they stop at races, and they stop at religions. That is a very, very dangerous message, as the consequences of continued international apathy and inaction will be catastrophic—on us all.”
From The Associated Press: “Bolivia’s government severed diplomatic relations with Israel on Tuesday, accusing it of carrying out ‘crimes against humanity’ in Gaza, and Chile and Colombia recalled their ambassadors to Israel as they criticized the Israeli military offensive against Hamas militants. Bolivian officials cited the number of Palestinian casualties, but made no mention of the Hamas attack on Israel at the start of the conflict.”
Chile decided to recall its ambassador to Israel “in the face of the unacceptable violations of international humanitarian law committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip,” the country’s Foreign Ministry said.
Colombia’s president, Gustavo Petro, also announced he was recalling his country’s ambassador to Israel. “If Israel does not stop the massacre of the Palestinian people, we cannot remain there,” Petro wrote on X.
Iran conveyed a message to Israel on October 15, emphasizing its desire to avoid further escalation in the Hamas-Israel conflict. However, Iran also made it clear that it might need to intervene if Israel’s operation in Gaza persists.
More than 8,500 Palestinians have been killed in the war, mostly women and minors, the Gaza Health Ministry said Tuesday, without providing a breakdown between civilians and fighters. UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said that toll includes over 3,400 children killed and more than 6,300 injured. “This means that more than 420 children are being killed or injured in Gaza each day—a number which should shake each of us to our core,” she said.
On the Israeli side, more than 1,400 people have died, mainly civilians killed during the Hamas’ initial attack.
It would do well for the global community to listen to King Abdullah: “We must not—we cannot—write off this conflict as too far gone, for the sake of both the Palestinians and the Israelis. Our collective and unified message to the Israeli people should be: We want a future of peace and security for you and for the Palestinians, where your children and Palestinian children should no longer live in fear.”
At the United Nations, the Philippines was one of the 45 countries that abstained from voting on a Jordan-led resolution during the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Friday. The Philippines would have voted in favor of the UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war had it mentioned and condemned the October 7 Hamas attack that killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, including four Filipinos and other foreigners, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. As a DFA official explained, to allow the resolution as worded—omitting condemnation of the October 7 attacks—would be to dishonor the memory of the Filipino workers who were among the victims.