China joins calls for Israel to halt military operations in Gaza

13 February 2024, 11:54

Palestinians inspect the damage after an Israeli raid on Rafah
Israel Palestinians. Picture: PA

The call came after a raid in Rafah in which two hostages were rescued and at least 74 Palestinians were killed.

China has joined growing international calls for Israel to halt military operations in Gaza following a raid in which two hostages were rescued and scores of Palestinians killed.

The Foreign Ministry in Beijing added in a brief statement on Tuesday that Israel should “do everything possible to avoid casualties among innocent civilians and prevent a more devastating humanitarian disaster in Rafah”.

Israel has signalled its ground offensive may soon target Rafah, the town where the hostages were freed by the raid.

Israel Palestinians
Palestinians inspect the damage to residential buildings in Rafah where two hostages were reportedly held before being rescued by Israeli security forces (Fatima Shbair/AP)

China has consistently opposed the Israeli offensive, calling from the start for a ceasefire and talks to find a permanent solution to the crisis.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said the bodies of 133 people killed in Israeli strikes have been taken to hospitals in the war-ravaged territory over the past day.

Hospitals also received 162 wounded patients, the ministry said.

Also on Tuesday, the death toll from the Israeli hostage rescue operation in the town of Rafah rose to 74, according to Dr Marawan al-Hams, director of the local Abu Youssef al-Najjar Hospital.

Israeli forces carrying out the operation were backed by heavy air strikes on the town, to where hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians have fled.

Israel Palestinians
The fresh fatalities took the death toll in Gaza to 28,473 since the war began on October 7, according to the health ministry (Fatima Shbair/AP)

The fresh fatalities took the death toll in Gaza to 28,473 since the war began on October 7, according to the ministry.

The ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants in its count but says more than 70% of the dead are women and children.

Israel says its forces have killed 10,000 Hamas fighters, without providing evidence. It blames Hamas for the death toll, saying it embeds in civilians areas, putting non-combatants at risk.

More than 68,000 people have been wounded in the war, of whom 11,000 who need urgent evacuation from Gaza for treatment, the ministry said.

The ministry said many of the dead remain under the rubble of destroyed buildings and on roadsides, with first responders unable to reach many areas and collect the bodies.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Australia Double Fatality

Police asked not to march at Sydney Mardi Gras parade after alleged murders

Emmanuel Macron

Putting Western troops on the ground in Ukraine not ‘ruled out’, says Macron

Israel Palestinians

Biden ‘hopes Hamas ceasefire and hostage deal can take effect by next Monday’

James Cleverly is expected to address global leaders on Tuesday.

West must 'help people thrive in their own countries' to tackle migrant crisis, James Cleverly says

Don Henley

I never gave away draft lyrics of Hotel California, Eagles singer tells trial

Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán

Hungary approves Sweden's bid to join Nato as the military alliance expands in the face of Russia's war in Ukraine

Election 2024 Trump

Judge in Trump hush-money case asked to issue gag order on former president

Hungarian parliament

Hungary’s parliament votes to ratify Sweden’s application to join Nato

St. Vincent Grenada Hijacked Yacht

Hijackers threw elderly couple overboard after capturing yacht, police say

Father Felice Palamara was presiding over Mass in the small town of Cessaniti, Calabria, in the southern region of Italy when he noticed an acrid smell coming from the wine

Priest handed poisoned chalice after mafia hitman spikes holy communion wine with bleach

WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Global economy weighed down by war, uncertainty and instability, says WTO chief

Donald Trump and his lawyers

Trump to appeal against £350m judgment made against him in fraud lawsuit

Damaged buildings seen after Russian forces completed their takeover of Avdiivka

Ukrainian troops pull back again amid Russia’s onslaught in east of country

Tunisian Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi speaks at his home in the town of Soliman, February 23

Imam deported from France after labelling tricolore flag 'satanic' despite living in the country for 40 years

Gerard Depardieu

French actor Gerard Depardieu faces another sexual assault complaint

A Lebanese army vehicle blocks a road leading to a warehouse which was destroyed by Israeli air strikes

Israel’s air force attacks Hezbollah targets ‘deep inside Lebanon’