As part of a tour to urge an end to hostilities and to allow humanitarian aid into the devastated Palestinian enclave, a delegation of Arab and Muslim ministers called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on Monday.
As the delegation prepares to meet with representatives of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the West is contesting Israel’s justification for its actions against the Palestinians as acts of self-defense.
Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, Palestine, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation are among the nations represented among the delegates who will be meeting with China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, on Monday.
“We are here to send a clear signal: that is, we must immediately deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza, and we must immediately stop the fighting and killings,” stated Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.
This month, in Riyadh, the unusual joint Islamic-Arab summit also called for an investigation into “war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel is committing” in the Palestinian territories by the International Criminal Court.
The de facto ruler of the kingdom, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, assembled Arab and Muslim leaders to reaffirm Saudi Arabia’s demand that the United States and Israel put a halt to hostilities in Gaza.
On October 7, Hamas launched a fatal cross-border raid into Israel, taking some 240 hostages along the way. This spurred Israel to invade the Gaza Strip in an attempt to destroy the Islamist militant group.
At least 13,000 Palestinians, including at least 5,500 children, have died as a result of Israeli airstrikes, according to the Hamas-run administration in Gaza.
Irit Ben-Abba, the Israeli ambassador to Beijing, expressed her expectation that there wouldn’t be any remarks regarding a ceasefire during her visit, telling foreign reporters during a Monday briefing.
She stated that Israel anticipated the delegation would discuss the captives taken by Hamas “and call for their immediate release without preconditions” and that all parties concerned should discuss Egypt’s “role in facilitating humanitarian assistance.”
“Sibling and Companion”
Wang added that Beijing is a “good friend and brother of Arab and Muslim countries” and that it “always firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and interests.”
Since the commencement of hostilities, China’s foreign ministry has consistently called for de-escalation for Israel and Palestine to pursue a “two-state solution” for an independent Palestine while avoiding outright condemnation of Hamas.
Following the conclusion of China’s nearly three-year COVID lockdown, Xi has begun a diplomatic offensive against the U.S. and its allies, whom he claims are trying to isolate and repress his nation.
Beijing has strengthened connections with non-Western-led international organizations like the BRICS bloc, fortifying its relations with nations in the Middle East and the Global South.
On Monday, Wang stated that China would strive to “quell the fighting in Gaza as soon as possible, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and promote an early, comprehensive, just, and lasting settlement of the Palestinian issue.”
China’s special envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Jun, has met with representatives of the Arab League, the EU, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority, which rules over the occupied West Bank, in the past year to propose a U.N. recognition of Palestine and a two-state solution.