UNITED NATIONS, November 29. /TASS/. The Chinese authorities consider Israel's drastic measures against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip absolutely unacceptable and oppose the forcible transfer of civilians, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
"We should take more practical and forceful measures to protect civilians, to protect them in armed conflicts, this [violence against civilians] is a red line in international law," he told a meeting on the Middle East at the UN Security Council. "All violence and attacks against civilians are unacceptable," the Chinese foreign minister emphasized.
According to Wang Yi, any violation of humanitarian law is reprehensible. "We are opposed to collective punitive measures against the residents of Gaza, to the forcible transfer of Palestinians," he stressed.
The top Chinese diplomat also called for the immediate release of those forcibly detained in the conflict zone and in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. "It is necessary to remove obstacles to the delivery of necessary humanitarian goods and create conditions for the safe work of humanitarian organizations," Wang Yi added.
Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 when Hamas militants staged a surprise attack on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, killing residents of Israeli border settlements and taking over 200 hostages, including women, children and the elderly. Hamas described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. In response, Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, and has been delivering air strikes on Gaza as well as some parts of Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also underway in the West Bank.
On November 22, Hamas announced that it had reached, with assistance from mediators Egypt and Qatar, an agreement with Israel for a four-day humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The agreement calls for the release of 50 women, children and teenagers under the age of 19 held in the Hamas-controlled enclave in exchange for 150 women, children and teenagers under the age of 19 currently held in Israeli prisons. On November 27, the parties agreed to extend the ceasefire for two more days under the same conditions, that is, three Palestinian prisoners will be released daily in exchange for each Israeli hostage released.