Wang Yi reiterated Beijing’s calls for a two-state solution to the conflict, stressing that “any arrangement involving the future of Palestine must reflect the will of the Palestinian people….reports Asian Lite News
The top diplomats from China and the US discussed the war between Israel and the Hamas group in a call, Beijing and Washington said on Wednesday, the media reported.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “reiterated the imperative of all parties working to prevent the conflict from spreading,” according to the US State Department.
Beijing said that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed in turn that, regarding the war, “the top priority is to ceasefire and end the war as soon as possible”.
“Major countries must adhere to fairness and justice, uphold objectivity and impartiality, demonstrate calm and rationality, and make every effort to cool down the situation and prevent larger-scale humanitarian disasters,” Wang said, according to the Foreign Ministry.
He reiterated Beijing’s calls for a two-state solution to the conflict, stressing that “any arrangement involving the future of Palestine must reflect the will of the Palestinian people,” The Times of Israel reported.
“China is willing to work with all parties to make efforts to this end,” he said.
‘Fierce battles’ continue in Gaza
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said on Wednesday that “fierce battles” with Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip continue, as the Israeli Air Force carries out strikes against more than 250 targets, the media reported.
In a statement, it said that the 7th Armoured Brigade directed strikes on two rocket launchers used in the barrages on central Israel on Tuesday, The Times of Israel reported.
The IAF strikes also hit several Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives, alongside infrastructure belonging to the miltant groups, the military said.
The IDF added that the Kfir Brigade killed a group of Hamas operatives who were near a school in northern Gaza. Later, the soldiers found and destroyed a tunnel shaft and weapons in the area.
In another school in northern Gaza, the soldiers found weapons, according to the IDF.
‘No UN-designated safe zones’
A UN spokesman has refuted the US claim that civilians in Gaza should seek refuge in UN-designated safe places.
In response to US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller’s suggestion that Gazans should seek refuge in UN-designated sites that are listed by Israel as “deconfliction zones”, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said on Tuesday there are no such things in Gaza, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Well, let’s be clear. There are no UN-designated safe zones in Gaza. I think all my senior colleagues have been very clear, including the secretary-general, saying there are no safe places in Gaza,” said Dujarric.
“There are shelters that fly the UN flag that are sheltering thousands and thousands and thousands of people — men, women, and children who are trying to stay alive and get some food, get some water. We have seen, since the beginning of this conflict, that those places that fly the UN flag are not safe either,” he said.
Asked where people in Gaza should go when they are ordered to evacuate, Miller said, “People should go to the UN-designated sites where — that are on Israeli lists as deconfliction zones that should not be the target of military campaigns.”
“There are already people who are sheltering in those. As the (Israeli military) campaign moves to the south (of Gaza) and Israel evacuates specific neighbourhoods or orders specific neighbourhoods to be evacuated, that is where people should go,” he said.
Netanyahu Rejects Int’l Force Post-War
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the idea that an international force could be responsible for security in the Gaza Strip after the war, saying that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) should retain control of the disarmament of Gaza, CNN reported on Wednesday.
According to CNN, this is not the first time Netanyahu has called for post-war Israeli military control in Gaza.
“On the day after, Gaza must be disarmed. And in order for Gaza to be disarmed, there’s only one force that can ensure that — and this force is the IDF,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday during a news conference. “No international force can be responsible for that,” he said, adding, “We saw what happened to other places where international forces were brought for disarmament purposes.”
In November, Netanyahu told CNN that Israel’s security role in a post-war Gaza would be an “over-riding, over-reaching military envelope,” but did not explain what that meant.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military encircled the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of the general staff said, CNN reported.
“Sixty days after the war began, our forces are now encircling the Khan Yunis area in the southern Gaza Strip,” IDF chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said on Tuesday, adding, “Simultaneously, we continue to secure our accomplishments in the northern Gaza Strip.”