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Chinese envoy voices concern over Israeli attacks
Updated: 2009-01-01 14:40

UNITED NATIONS - China's UN Ambassador Zhang Yesui on Wednesday voiced serious concern at the "large-scale Israeli air attacks against Gaza" which has caused escalation of the tension.

"We strongly condemn all the actions that had caused casualties among civilians," Zhang told a formal meeting of the UN Security Council on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Under the current circumstances, the Security Council should take actions to ensure that the objectives of its past resolutions be implemented, Zhang said.

The Chinese ambassador urged the Middle East Quartet, which groups the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States, to intensify their mediation efforts and play an active role.

The international community and other partners should also play a constructive role, he said. "The parties concerned should, with the support of the international community, re-establish cease-fire as soon as possible."

The Israeli air attacks have further exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, he said. "We urge Israel to immediately open all border crossings into Gaza to facilitate the unhindered access of humanitarian relief materials."

The Chinese government has decided to provide the Palestinian Authorities with 1-million-dollar emergency humanitarian assistance for them to acquire essential materials, he noted.

"We call upon the international community to take effective actions to alleviate the difficult humanitarian situation in Gaza and support the United Nations in taking urgent actions in this area," Zhang added.

The meeting was convened after Security Council members met behind closed doors to discuss the current Gaza conflict. The president of the Security Council for December, Croatia's UN Ambassador Neven Jurica, called the council meeting at the request of Egyptian UN Ambassador Maged Abdleza.

The UN Security Council on Sunday released a press statement, calling on Israelis and Palestinians to immediately halt all violence in Gaza.