World must ‘act urgently’ to stop humanitarian crisis in Gaza: China FM

BEIJING (AFP): The international community must take urgent action to stop the “humanitarian disaster” unfolding in Gaza, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday told a visiting delegation of diplomats from Arab and Muslim-majority nations.

“Let us work together to quickly cool down the situation in Gaza and restore peace in the Middle East as soon as possible,” Wang told foreign ministers in opening remarks in Beijing.

“A humanitarian disaster is unfolding in Gaza,” Wang told the diplomats, which include foreign ministers of the Palestinian Authority, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

 “The situation in Gaza affects all countries around the world, questioning the human sense of right and wrong and humanity’s bottom line,” he said.

“The international community must act urgently, taking effective measures to prevent this tragedy from spreading,” Wang added.

Israel has vowed to destroy Gaza’s rulers Hamas over the October 7 attacks that it says killed 1,200 people and saw 240 hostages taken, in the worst-ever onslaught on the country.

In Gaza, the Hamas government says at least 13,000 people have been killed in Israel’s relentless aerial bombardment and ground operations.

Most of the casualties on both sides are civilians.

China late Sunday announced the visit of the delegation of ministers, which also includes the secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Beijing has said the goal of the talks will be to “promote a de-escalation of the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict, protecting civilians, and justly resolving the Palestinian issue”.

“China is a good friend and brother of Arab and Muslim countries,” Wang told them.

“We have always firmly defended the legitimate rights and interests of Arab and Muslim countries, and have always firmly supported the Palestinian people’s efforts to restore their legitimate national rights and interests,” he said.