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Thursday, May 31, 2018, 18:02
China calls for calm, restraint following Gaza conflict
By Xinhua
Thursday, May 31, 2018, 18:02 By Xinhua

In this Feb 20, 2018 photo, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu, center, addresses a United Nations Security Council meeting on the Middle East situation at the UN headquarters in New York. (LI MUZI / XINHUA)

UNITED NATIONS – China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu Wednesday called for calm and restraint following the latest round of conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis in Gaza.

Ma made the remarks at a Security Council meeting discussing the latest conflict, saying that China is closely following current tensions and is particularly concerned about the risk of potential escalation in Gaza. 

The international community should continue to uphold the two-state solution and work in accordance with international consensus. 

Ma Zhaoxu, China's Permanent Representative to the UN 

China hopes that relevant actors in Palestine and Israel remain calm, cease any military action and take concrete measures towards de-escalation, said Ma. 

China has always called for the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute through peaceful negotiations and is opposed to violence that leads to the deterioration of the situation and the targeting of civilians, he said. 

Relaunching peace talks between Israel and Palestine is urgent and necessary. The international community should go all out to promote the resumption of talks in order to reach a comprehensive, just and lasting solution at an early date, he said, adding that this is the only way out. 

READ MORE: Gaza escalation a warning that 'brink of war' near, says UN envoy

The international community should continue to uphold the two-state solution and work in accordance with international consensus, he said. 

China is committed to promoting the Middle East peace process and supporting the just cause of the Palestinian people for restoring their legitimate national rights. China supports the establishment of a fully sovereign, independent State of Palestine on the basis of pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, he said. 

China will continue to work with all parties concerned to achieve peace in the Middle East, he said. 

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The past two days have seen the most serious escalation in Gaza since the 2014 conflict between Hamas and Israel. Between Monday and Wednesday, 216 projectiles, rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza towards Israel, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov quoted the Israeli Defense Forces as saying. 

Although most of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, one hit a kindergarten yard in a kibbutz near the Gaza border and at least another damaged a house, he said. 

In response to those rockets and mortars, the Israeli Air Force carried out strikes on 65 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza and destroyed a 2-km tunnel near the Kerem Shalom crossing, said Mladenov. 

There have been no casualties on either side.

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