Published: 13:05, October 27, 2023 | Updated: 13:08, October 27, 2023
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China rejects 'evasive' UN resolution on Gaza
By Heng Weili in New York

People evacuate children out of the debris on Oct 25, 2023 following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City. (PHOTO / AP)

China on Wednesday voted against a United Nations Security Council resolution on the Palestine-Israel conflict, saying it was "introduced in haste" and does not address the crucial issue of a cease-fire.

The draft resolution "does not reflect the world's strongest calls for a cease-fire and an end to the fighting", said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN.

The latest resolution drafted by the United States condemned Hamas, expressed support for Israel and called for the release of all hostages.

Russia and the United Arab Emirates also voted against the resolution.

Zhang said: "China is by no means opposing the council taking actions. On the contrary, we have always strongly called for the council to play a responsible role.

"What we oppose is that the draft resolution is evasive on the most urgent issue of ending the hostility. It has never been able to call for an immediate cease-fire in clear and unambiguous terms," he said.

"At this moment, cease-fire is not just a diplomatic term; it means the life and death of many civilians. If a council resolution is ambiguous on the question of war and peace and of life and death, it is not only irresponsible but also extremely dangerous," Zhang said. "It is tantamount to paving the way for large-scale military actions and giving the green light to further escalation of war."

With Israel retaliating after Hamas' Oct 7 attacks with strikes on nearly every part of the Palestinian enclave, "people are left with nothing but impossible choices. Nowhere is safe in Gaza", Lynne Hastings, UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, said in a statement on Thursday.

Rising toll

Israeli tanks and infantry raided the northern Gaza Strip in a predawn attack on Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

The military said that forces conducted "a targeted raid" using tanks in the northern Gaza Strip. According to the statement, the raid was "part of preparations for the next stages of combat", in which Israel plans a ground offensive in Gaza.

The death toll of Palestinians from Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip has risen to more than 7,000, and more than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, according to media reports.

US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the future should include Israeli and Palestinian states side by side. "Israelis and Palestinians equally deserve to live side by side in safety, dignity and in peace," Biden said at a joint news conference in Washington with visiting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also warned the conflict could spread beyond the Middle East and said it was wrong that innocent women, children and the elderly in Gaza were being punished for other people's crimes.

European Union leaders were expected to call for the establishment of "humanitarian corridors and pauses" to get the urgently needed aid into Gaza, according to the final draft of a text to be approved at a summit in Brussels on Thursday.

Agencies and Xinhua contributed to this story.