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17 Oct, 2023 12:08

China promises to help Gaza Palestinians

Beijing said it will send humanitarian aid to the region as the violent escalation between Israel and Hamas continues
China promises to help Gaza Palestinians

China is concerned about the consequences of Israel’s siege of Gaza, and has announced it is sending humanitarian aid to those in need in the region, according to Beijing’s permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun.

Speaking on Monday, after the UN Security Council had failed to adopt a Russian-proposed resolution on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Zhang said that China will continue to call for an immediate end to hostilities in the Middle East in order to prevent them from spreading and a further deterioration of the situation.

The diplomat insisted that countries need to take an “objective and fair position” in order to avoid large-scale conflict and humanitarian disasters, and should make sure not to cause an even greater blow to regional and international security.

Zhang also specifically raised the issue of Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has been in place for over a week now since last Monday. It was introduced after Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on neighboring Israel on October 7. Israeli authorities have said they will not restore the provision of fuel, water or electricity to Gaza until all hostages captured by the Palestinian militants are released.

The Chinese representative said Beijing is “seriously concerned about the consequences of Israel imposing a complete blockade of Gaza,” and urged Israel to stop the “collective punishment of the population of Gaza.”

“We support the opening of humanitarian corridors so that water, medicine and other humanitarian goods can arrive in a timely manner,” the diplomat said, adding that China will “provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Gaza through the UN and through bilateral channels.”

Zhang insisted “humanitarian issues should not be politicized” and stressed the importance of respecting international humanitarian law and making efforts to ensure the safety of the civilian population.

Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to London Tzipi Hotovely has denied claims that a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Gaza and insisted that Hamas must “pay” for attacking Israel.

“There is no humanitarian crisis,” she told Sky News on Monday, adding that Hamas, which controls Gaza, has “abused” humanitarian aid and instead of taking care of its people has used the funds to manufacture rockets.

“Hamas needs to pay the price for … killing innocent Israelis and now preventing its own people from evacuating,” the Israeli diplomat said. She noted that Israel is now giving the people of Gaza the opportunity to go south to “sheltered places” - an opportunity that she said was not given to the people of Kfar Aza and Sderot who were killed in the Hamas attack.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, however, has described the situation in Gaza an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe” and noted that the region is literally “running out of life.”

Overall, it’s believed that some 1,400 people have been killed in Israel in the latest flare-up, according to local authorities, while Palestinian officials have reported over 2,800 fatalities in Gaza.