The dour mood from some of the gathering's most high-profile speakers underscored how the war threatens attempts by the world's biggest oil exporter to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels. The militants also took 222 people hostage, among them elderly people and young children, according to the Israeli authorities' latest count. ADVERTISEMENT AdvertisementMore than 5,700 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed across the Gaza Strip in retaliatory Israeli bombardments, the territory's Hamas-run health ministry said. A source familiar with discussions on possible normalisation with Israel told AFP this month that the process had been paused. The war "is in the minds of each and everyone", Laurent Germain, CEO of construction engineering firm Egis Group, told AFP.