Cease-fire appeals amplify as Gaza conflict escalates

2023-10-11 08:47:28China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Appeals for a cease-fire and minimizing civilian suffering are growing louder around the world as the Israel-Palestine conflict entered the fourth day.

Nearly 1,800 Israelis and Palestinians, as well as several foreign nationals, have died in the conflict as of Tuesday, according to the Israeli military and Palestinian authorities.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that China is trying to verify and confirm information on reported Chinese casualties in the conflict. He made the remark in response to a report that two Chinese workers were killed near the Gaza border.

China has called on the country's diplomatic missions to search for missing Chinese nationals and treat those injured in the conflict, Wang said at a regular news conference on Tuesday.

Calling for an immediate cease-fire, China's Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue Zhai Jun said on Tuesday that China opposes and condemns acts that harm civilians.

In a phone conversation with Osama Khedr, assistant minister of the Palestine Department in the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhai said that China would like to maintain communication and coordination with Egypt to push for an end to the violence between Palestine and Israel.

Beijing is willing to work with Cairo to prod the international community to jointly provide humanitarian support to Palestinian people, and prevent the exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis in Palestine, especially in Gaza, he said.

Khedr expressed appreciation for China's fair stance on the Palestinian issue, saying that Egypt looks forward to working with China to make efforts to de-escalate the situation.

The Arab League and the Russian Federation have also called for negotiations and an end to "hostilities" between Israel and Palestine.

Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk told Al Jazeera in a phone interview that the group was open to "all political dialogues" when asked about a possible truce with Israel, Russian news agency TASS and Reuters reported on Tuesday.

However, Hamas' military wing spokesman Abu Obeida was cited by Xinhua News Agency as warning in an audio statement that any targeting of Palestinian people and their homes will be regrettably met with the execution of Israeli civilian hostages.

Israel has said that Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza are holding more than 150 soldiers and civilians hostage, The Associated Press reported.

Cease-fire appeals amplified after Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered on Monday a "complete siege" on Gaza, a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war against Hamas and vowed "mighty vengeance" that could "change the Middle East".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas emphasized, during a phone call with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the importance of delivering relief and medical aid to Gaza residents to prevent a "humanitarian catastrophe".

Guterres said the UN is working to provide urgent humanitarian relief to the residents of Gaza, Palestinian News Agency reported.

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