China on Friday announced sending urgent humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority through the United Nations channels.
“In light of the current severe situation, China believes that the top priority amid escalating Israel-Palestine conflict is an immediate cease-fire,” state-run Global Times quoted China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi as saying.
The minister added that Beijing’s special envoy for the Middle East will soon visit the relevant countries in the region.
In a dramatic escalation of Middle East tensions, Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories.
The conflict began last Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea, and air.
Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.