World / Middle East

China calls for ceasefire as Gaza death toll soars

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-07-23 10:19

China calls for ceasefire as Gaza death toll soars 

Israel rejects 3-hour humanitarian truce: Hamas 
China calls for ceasefire as Gaza death toll soars
Gaza weeps in war woe 
BEIJING - China on Tuesday again called for a ceasefire between Palestine and Israel as violence has killed more than six hundred Palestinians and around 30 Israelis.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei reiterated China's concern over the large number of casualties, urging the two sides to respond to the international community's call for an immediate ceasefire.

The protracted conflict will claim more lives and breed more hatred, he said, adding that any excessive use of force will be unacceptable and should be condemned.

Hong said China strongly urges the warring sides to immediately respond to mediation efforts of the international community and its call for reaching a truce.

He also called for an end to airstrikes, ground operations and rocket launches as well as concrete measures to protect civilians.

As a part of international mediation efforts, China's special envoy on Middle East Affairs Wu Sike is on a regional tour that includes Palestine, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Qatar.

"China will continue to make unremitting efforts in pushing for a ceasefire," said Hong.

The Israeli military campaign dubbed "Operation Protective Edge" targeting the Gaza Strip, which has lasted for more than two weeks, has killed 609 Palestinians and wounded 3,720 others so far, according to Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra.

After a failed attempt by Egypt to broker a truce, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry are making diplomatic efforts in the Middle East to halt the bloody conflict and mediate a ceasefire.

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