Israel-Hamas war: China calls on Israel to stop its military operation in Rafah “as soon as possible”

International pressure is growing for a truce deal between Israel and Hamas

Israel-Hamas war: China calls on Israel to stop its military operation in Rafah “as soon as possible”

International pressure is growing for a truce deal between Israel and Hamas. China on Tuesday, February 13, called on Israel to stop its military operation in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip. This city is the last refuge for more than a million people living in the landlocked territory.

“China closely follows developments in the Rafah region, opposes and condemns actions that harm civilians and violate international law,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement. communicated. China calls on Israel to end its military operation as soon as possible, to do everything possible to avoid innocent civilian casualties, in order to prevent an even more serious humanitarian catastrophe in the Rafah region. »

During a joint speech at the White House, King Abdullah II called on Monday for an “immediately lasting ceasefire” in Gaza in front of Joe Biden, who preferred to speak of a pause “of at least six weeks” in the part of an agreement, which remains to be found, on the release of the hostages still held in the enclave. Israel estimates that there are around 130 hostages still held in Gaza, 29 of whom are believed to have died, out of around 250 people kidnapped in Israel on October 7.

Offensive in preparation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently ordered the army to prepare an offensive on Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are massed according to the UN, or more than half of the territory's total population. He repeated on Monday his determination to continue “military pressure until complete victory” against Hamas, of which Rafah is the “last bastion”, to free “all our hostages”.

A few hours earlier, Israel had released two of its hostages, two Israeli-Argentinians, in Rafah. This nighttime commando operation was accompanied by bombings which left around a hundred dead, according to the Hamas authorities, in power in Gaza since 2007. The Israeli offensive left 28,340 dead in the Gaza Strip, the vast majority of them civilians. , according to the health ministry in the Hamas-administered Gaza Strip.