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At UN, China calls for aid to make it to Gaza

By MINGMEI LI at the United Nations | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-28 11:21

Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations. [Photo/Xinhua]

A Chinese envoy at the United Nations said on Tuesday that China will make "tireless" efforts to restore peace, save lives and ensure that humanitarian aid makes it to Gaza.

More than four months since the outbreak of the conflict in Gaza, nearly 30,000 civilians have died, and Gaza "has sunk into an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe", said Dai Bing, chargé d'affaires a.i. for China's UN mission.

Dai said that what is happening in Gaza violates international law and "goes beyond the bottom line of human morality and conscience, as millions of people in Gaza are suffering the pain of losing their loved ones or still unable to find safe shelter after multiple times of forced displacement".

"People lack the most basic safety guarantees and supplies for survival and are constantly faced with the threat of death, hunger, and disease," Dai said. "Women and children are living in fear and desperation every single day."

China urges the international society to take action to protect civilians, save lives and make every effort to prevent an even greater humanitarian disaster, he said.

Dai noted that the UN Security Council has adopted resolutions 2712 and 2720, calling for aid to get through and for the release of hostages.

"However, due to man-made obstacles, the entry of humanitarian supplies into Gaza has faced many difficulties. For nearly a month now, the humanitarian supplies received in Gaza have been far below the average of earlier periods, and Northern Gaza has not received any humanitarian supplies," Dai said.

"We call on Israel to earnestly fulfill its obligations as the occupying power under the Geneva Convention, fully cooperate in the implementation of Security Council resolutions, open up all land, sea, and air access routes, and ensure the safe, rapid, and unimpeded entry of humanitarian supplies."

Dai said that Israel "should strictly comply with the requirements of the de-confliction mechanism, guarantee the safety of humanitarian agencies and personnel, and provide necessary facilitation for humanitarian agencies to carry out assistance in Gaza".

The International Court of Justice ordered provisional measures that require Israel "to take all measures to prevent genocide and provide the population in Gaza with urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance, and the order must be effectively implemented", Dai added.

Dai said that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is the "lifeline" for the people in Gaza, and its role "is indispensable and irreplaceable".

China will support the UN in conducting an independent, impartial investigation into allegations against UNRWA staff, and Israel should support and cooperate with the UN in the investigation, Dai said. The international community should continue to support UNRWA and other humanitarian agencies in their work, he said.

Dai said that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has on numerous occasions said that with Gaza under gunfire, conditions are impossible for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

An immediate cease-fire is the necessary precondition for protecting civilians, delivering assistance, and alleviating the humanitarian disaster, Dai said. That is currently the "overwhelming call of the international community and the overwhelming consensus among council members", he said.

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