China calls for ceasefire, humanitarian aid for Palestinian people

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China’s envoy to the Middle East Zhai Jun called for “an immediate ceasefire” to the Israel-Hamas conflict during a phone call with a Palestinian official, the Chinese foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Thousands of people have been killed since Hamas’s shock assault on Saturday, the deadliest on Israel in its 75-year history.

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Zhai spoke Wednesday with Amal Jadou, the Palestinian Authority’s deputy foreign minister, and said China was worried by the conflict’s intensification and “deeply concerned by the serious deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Palestine,” a readout on the ministry’s website said.

“The top priorities are an immediate ceasefire and the protection of civilians,” Zhai was quoted as saying.

Zhai spoke by phone on Tuesday with Egypt’s assistant minister for the Palestinian territories, and said China was seeking to work with Cairo to help ease the conflict.

He reiterated Beijing’s call for “the implementation of a ‘two-state solution.’”

Beijing has positioned itself in recent months as a mediator in the Middle East, brokering a restoration of ties in March between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

But it has been criticized for its response to the current conflict, with Israel reportedly saying it had expected “stronger condemnation” of Hamas.

There is currently no record of Zhai speaking to the Israeli side.

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