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China urges Israel to stop military operation in Rafah ‘as soon as possible’

Israel strikes east Lebanon for first time since Gaza war: security official

China urged Israel on Tuesday to stop its military operation in the Gazan city of Rafah “as soon as possible”, warning of a “serious humanitarian disaster” there if fighting did not stop.

“China follows closely the developments in the Rafah area, opposes and condemns actions that harm civilians and violate international law,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

Beijing urged Israel to “to stop its military operation as soon as possible, (and) make every effort to avoid innocent civilian casualties, in order to prevent a more serious humanitarian disaster in the Rafah area”.

Israel is facing growing international pressure to agree to a ceasefire with Hamas as it prepares for an incursion into Rafah, the southern Gaza border city where more than a million displaced Palestinians are trapped.

Israel conducted a predawn raid in Rafah on Monday that freed two hostages and killed around 100 people, after rejecting Hamas’s terms for a truce last week.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the overnight operation as “perfect”, while the Palestinian foreign ministry said the deaths of dozens of Gazans amounted to a “massacre”.

The rare rescue mission under heavy air strikes came hours after Netanyahu spoke with US President Joe Biden, who reiterated his opposition to a major assault on Rafah.

The United Nations has also warned Israel against carrying out a ground offensive into Rafah without a plan to protect civilians, who say they have nowhere left to go.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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