China on Tuesday urged Israel to halt its military operation in Gaza’s southern border city of Rafah and warned of serious humanitarian consequences if fighting did not stop.
“We oppose and condemn acts against civilians and international law. We call on Israel to stop military operations as soon as possible,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement.
The statement went on to say that Israel needed to “do everything possible to avoid casualties among innocent civilians and prevent a more devastating humanitarian disaster in Rafah”.
There has been mounting international pressure for Israel to agree to a ceasefire with the Hamas militant group.
The UN says about 1.5 million are sheltering in and around the city, having fled areas in northern Gaza, since Israel launched operations to root out Hamas after the Islamist group’s terror attacks on 7 October last year.
US President Joe Biden on Monday said that the military operation in Rafah “should not proceed without a credible plan” that would ensure the safety of the people sheltering there.
“Many people there have been displaced — displaced multiple times, fleeing the violence to the north, and now they’re packed into Rafah — exposed and vulnerable. They need to be protected,” Biden said as he hosted Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
kb/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)
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