China is seeking to work with Egypt to help ease the Israel-Hamas war that erupted after a deadly attack by the Palestinian militant group, its Middle East envoy has said as he urged a ceasefire.
Zhai Jun spoke by phone on Tuesday with Egypt’s assistant minister for the Palestinian territories, according to a readout of the conversation published by Beijing.
“China is willing to maintain communication and coordination with Egypt, push both parties of the conflict to cease fire and stop violence as soon as possible,” Zhai said.
He also urged “the international community to form a joint force and provide humanitarian support to the Palestinian people”.
Thousands of people have been killed since Hamas’s shock assault on Saturday, the deadliest on Israel in its 75-year history.
In Israel, the death toll rose on Wednesday to 1,200 people, most of them civilians.
Meanwhile in Gaza, officials have reported more than 900 people killed as Israel pounded the territory with air strikes.
Since the assault, Egypt has intensified its push for diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the spiralling violence.
Egypt has historically been a key mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, and was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.
It has, alongside Israel, jointly blockaded the Gaza Strip since 2007.
China has meanwhile positioned itself in recent months as a mediator in the Middle East, brokering a restoration of ties in March between Saudi Arabia and key Hamas backer Iran.
Zhai added that the “fundamental solution lies in the implementation of a ‘two-state solution'”, calling on key players in the conflict to “make practical efforts” towards this end “with the greatest sense of urgency”.