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China’s Foreign Minister Demands ‘Comprehensive and Lasting Cease-Fire’ in Gaza

China’s foreign minister demanded a “comprehensive and lasting cease-fire” in Gaza on Wednesday, and shared hopes that the current humanitarian pause will not be a “hiatus before a new round of offensive”

“We should work for a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire with the greatest urgency there is no safe area under gunfire and letting the fighting drag on would only bring more deaths and damage,” Wang Yi told a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.

Wang noted that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has led to an enormous loss of innocent lives, an unprecedented humanitarian disaster and the “spillover effects” are still emerging.

“China strongly hopes that the past days of pause will not be a hiatus before a new round of offensive but rather the beginning of further diplomatic efforts for a comprehensive and lasting cease-fire,” he said.

Any action that violates international law, and particularly international humanitarian law, should be condemned, he said.

“China reiterates our opposition to the collective punishment of people in Gaza and our opposition to the forced transfer targeting Palestinian civilians,” he said,

Wang stressed the need to “revitalize the political prospects of the two-state solution with stronger determination.”

China advocates holding a larger scale and effective international peace conference and supports Palestine in becoming a full member of the UN, he said.

In a news conference after his address to the Council, Wang said there should not be a time limit to a cease-fire and demanded the release of all hostages and the removal of the blockade of Gaza.

Noting that China’s humanitarian assistance to Gaza is waiting at the Rafah border crossing in Egypt, he added that China will send a new batch of assistance to the Gaza Strip that will be delivered as quickly as possible.

“We hope there could be unhindered humanitarian access so that the assistance can get into the hands of the people in Gaza as quickly as possible,” he told reporters.

“The international community needs to fully implement the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, fully respect the will of the Palestinian people, return to the right track of the two-state solution, and enable the building of an independent state of Palestine as quickly as possible,” Wang said about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“That is the only way for Palestine and Israel to coexist in peace,” he added.

Qatar announced an agreement late Monday to extend an initial four-day humanitarian pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas for an additional two days, under which further prisoner exchanges will be carried out.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that the US will be focused, in the next days, on efforts “to extend the pause so that we continue to get more hostages out and more humanitarian assistance in (Gaza).”

During the past five days, Israel received 60 hostages, including women and children, in exchange for the release of 180 Palestinians, including women and children, from Israeli prisons as part of a deal with Hamas.

Israel launched a massive military campaign in the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

It has since killed over 15,000 people, including 6,150 children and 4,000 women, according to health authorities in the enclave.

Source : aa