China Urges Israel to Abide by International Humanitarian Law in War Against Hamas
China Urges Israel to Protect Palestinian Civilians and Push for Peace Talks
China has called on Israel to respect international humanitarian law and ensure the safety of Palestinian civilians during its conflict with the Hamas militant group. It has also expressed support for peace talks between the two sides.
During a phone conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated, “Every country has the right to self-defense, but every country should abide by international humanitarian law and protect the safety of civilians.” Wang emphasized that China would firmly support any resolution that promotes peace and Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation.
The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, which began after a surprise attack by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7, has now entered its third week. In response, Israel has been conducting airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which is under Hamas control. The exact number of casualties is currently unverified.
Wang highlighted that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has global implications and involves crucial choices between war and peace. However, he refrained from explicitly mentioning Hamas.
China has also proposed the convening of an authoritative and comprehensive international peace summit, aiming to resume peace talks and establish a timetable and roadmap for peace between Palestine and Israel. This proposal was discussed during a separate call Wang had with Riyad al-Maliki, the counterpart from the Palestinian National Authority.
Hamas is one of the major political forces in the Palestinian territories, alongside Fatah, which controls the Palestinian National Authority in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Wang’s statements came ahead of his upcoming meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Joe Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan in Washington later this week.
In a separate call with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on October 15, Wang expressed his belief that Israel’s actions have exceeded self-defense and called on it to heed the international community’s call to end its “collective punishment” of the people in Gaza.