Published: 11:48, April 15, 2024
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Restraint required to stop Gaza crisis spreading
By China Daily
This photo taken on April 13, 2024 shows a view of the empty road after Israeli authorities released a safety warning in Tel Aviv, Israel. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

In a new development that marks a worrying escalation of the conflict in the Middle East, Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles toward Israel early Sunday morning in what Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps described as a "large-scale military operation" against multiple targets inside Israel.

According to an Israeli military spokesman, more than 300 projectiles were fired at Israel, the "vast majority" of which were shot down by Israel's anti-missile defense system and US forces in the region.

Iran had previously vowed to retaliate after an air strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria earlier this month killed seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite overseas wing.

Sunday's attack has been condemned by the US as being "reckless and unprecedented", with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin calling on Teheran to halt any further strikes. "We do not seek conflict with Iran, but we will not hesitate to act to protect our forces and support the defense of Israel".

US President Joe Biden convened a meeting of the G7 leaders on Sunday to develop what he called a united diplomatic response to Iran's "brazen attack".

But it is Israel's brazen attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus that the group should be first addressing — for as Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said, it was a "gross violation of international conventions", which protect diplomatic missions — as well as Israel's continued escalating of air strikes on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria and Lebanon.

Of course, this is unlikely to happen as the US has given its wholehearted support to Israel's military campaign, making it a proxy for its strategy of aggression in the Middle East.

Since an Israeli air strike on a charity convoy in Gaza on April 1 resulted in the deaths of seven aid workers, including US, Australian and United Kingdom citizens, the US has softened its pro-Israeli rhetoric to some extent. But it has continued to give Israel its unwavering support.

Its hard-line stance in support of Israel is driven by the hegemonic view of global relations that is driving the US' foreign policy in pursuit of a US-centered world in which the US will emerge unscathed to build the world anew. It is imperative that countries do not fall into the trap of the US' design.

All the parties concerned in the region should remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid any further escalation of tensions. As the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, the pressing task now is to earnestly implement UN Security Council Resolution 2728 and end the conflict in Gaza as soon as possible.