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China ‘deeply pained’ by ‘severe’ situation in Gaza: President Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi (not pictured) in Beijing, China, May 29, 2024. (Photo by EPA)

Chinese President Xi Jinping says he is “deeply pained” by the “extremely severe” situation in the besieged Gaza Strip.

President Xi made the remarks on Wednesday, a few days after Israel launched a deadly strike on a tent encampment designated for the displaced in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, killing dozens of Palestinians.

He was meeting with visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who, along with several other Arab leaders, arrived in Beijing this week to hold talks aimed at deepening consensus between Beijing and the Arab countries.

“The current round of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has caused a large number of innocent Palestinian civilian casualties and the humanitarian situation in Gaza is extremely severe. China is deeply pained,” China’s state broadcaster CCTV quoted Xi as saying on Wednesday.

“The top priority task now is an immediate ceasefire, in order to avoid spillover of conflict, impact on regional peace and stability, and so as to prevent a more serious humanitarian crisis,” Xi further told Sisi.

On Sunday night, an Israeli air attack on a tent encampment in Tel al-Sudan north of Rafah claimed the lives of at least 50 Palestinians, many of them women and children, in an enormous inferno, wounding more than 250 others.

The carnage drew global condemnations and calls for the implementation of a World Court order to halt Israel’s brutal aggression on Gaza.

Separately on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning repeated China’s call to the occupying entity, urging the Tel Aviv regime to halt its attacks on the Rafah city.

Beijing “expresses serious concern over Israel's military actions targeting Rafah,” she stressed, adding that the regime should “listen to the overwhelming calls of the international community to cease its attacks.”

“The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is extremely dire and we call on all parties to immediately cease fire and to spare no effort to prevent further casualties among innocent civilians and to prevent the Gaza Strip from experiencing a more serious humanitarian disaster,” Mao added.

Israel launched the barbarous campaign in Gaza on October 7 after Palestinian resistance groups carried out a surprise retaliatory operation into the occupied territories.

Concomitantly with the war, the regime has been enforcing a near-total siege on the coastal territory, which has reduced the flow of foodstuffs, medicine, electricity, and water into the Palestinian territory into a trickle.

Israel has killed over 36,000 people, most of them women, children, and adolescents in Gaza since that October day.

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