China strongly condemned an Israeli air strike in Lebanon that killed a
Chinese United Nations observer and summoned Israel's ambassador in Beijing to
demand an apology.
rises from Khiam village after being hit by Israeli air strikes, in
southern Lebanon, July 25, 2006. [Reuters]
In its first reaction to the death of the Chinese national and up to three
other UN workers in Tuesday's strike on the hilltop town of Khiam, China also
called for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict by all sides.
"The Chinese side is deeply shocked and strongly condemns this," foreign
ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement, adding the strike had
killed "many innocent victims".
"The Chinese side demands that all sides in the confrontation, especially
Israel, take all measures to ensure the safety of UN peacekeepers."
Chinese observer Du Zhaoyu was killed Tuesday night by an
Israeli bomb and his body had been recovered from the rubble of the bombed UN
observer base in the hilltop town of Khiam, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Liu said Chinese assistant foreign minister Zhai Jun had called in Israeli
ambassador Yehoyada Haim on Wednesday morning for an "emergency" meeting over
"The Chinese side... demands that the Israeli side open a comprehensive
investigation, apologize to the Chinese side and the victim's family and help
the Chinese side in carrying out the mourning activities," Haim was told,
according to Liu.
China said an immediate end to hostilities was necessary.
"We urge all parties to immediately implement a ceasefire and quickly return
to the path of negotiation," Liu said.
"China will make more diplomatic efforts with the international community to
push forward the resumption of peace and stability in the Middle East region."
An Israeli air strike destroyed a base of the UN observer force on the border
in southern Lebanon on Tuesday night, killing four UN observers, including Du
The other three dead UN Observers were from Finland, Austria and Canada, the
UNIFIL sources confirmed.
The bomb made a direct hit on the building and
shelter of the observer post in the town of Khiyam near the eastern end of the
border with Israel, said Milos Struger, spokesman for United Nations Interim
Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).