Beijing, Oct 15 (UNI): Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in a phone call on Sunday that Israel’s actions have gone beyond the scope of self-defense and that the country should stop the collective punishment of Palestinians.
“Israel’s actions have gone beyond self-defense, Israel should seriously heed the calls of the international community and the UN Secretary-General and stop collectively punishing the residents of the Gaza Strip,” Wang was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Wang also said that China condemns all harmful actions targeting civilians and called for an immediate return to negotiations.
On October 7, Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip, prompting Israel to declare a state of war the following day and launch retaliatory strikes. On Monday, Israel ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2 million people, cutting off supplies of water, food and fuel.
Over the weekend, the Israeli military called on Gaza Strip residents to evacuate from the enclave’s north and go south, warning imminent attacks aiming Hamas targets. Many international organizations and rights groups decried the ultimatum, saying the mass displacement is fraught with grave humanitarian consequences.