China issued a plea on February 13 for Israel to immediately cease its military operations in Gaza, following a dramatic rescue operation by Israeli forces that resulted in the deaths of at least 74 Palestinians. The call for restraint comes as tensions escalate in the region, with mounting civilian casualties exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation.
The rescue operation, conducted in the city of Rafah situated on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip, saw Israeli forces extricate two hostages from captivity. However, the operation also resulted in a significant loss of life, including women and children, according to Palestinian hospital officials.
In a brief statement, China's Foreign Ministry urged Israel to take all necessary measures to prevent further civilian casualties and avoid exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Rafah. The death toll from the ongoing conflict has surpassed 28,000 people, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza, with a quarter of Gaza's population facing starvation.
The current wave of violence erupted on October 7 when Hamas militants launched an assault into Israel, resulting in the deaths of approximately 1,200 people, predominantly civilians, and the abduction of around 250 individuals. Israel asserts that around 100 hostages remain in Hamas captivity, while Hamas holds the remains of roughly 30 others who either perished during the initial assault or died in captivity. Tragically, three hostages were mistakenly killed by Israeli forces after escaping their captors in December.
The escalating conflict has drawn international concern, with calls for restraint and efforts to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the crisis. As casualties continue to mount and humanitarian conditions deteriorate, the need for urgent action to end the violence and alleviate the suffering of civilians in Gaza remains paramount.
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