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Int’l Community Voices Concern over Escalation in Palestinian-Israeli Clashes

Int’l Community Voices Concern over Escalation in Palestinian-Israeli Clashes

Wednesday, 12 May, 2021 - 17:45
Smoke and flames rise during Israeli air strikes amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Gaza May 12, 2021. (Reuters)

China's special envoy on the Middle East, Zhai Jun, on Wednesday expressed "deep concern" over escalating clashes between Palestinians and Israel and urged all parties to exercise restraint to avoid further casualties.

In a meeting with Arab envoys and the chief representative of the Arab League in China, Zhai said Beijing would continue to push the UN Security Council to take action on the situation in East Jerusalem as soon as possible, according to a foreign ministry statement.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he was deeply concerned about the current hostilities in Israel and Gaza, reaffirming Britain's support for a two-state solution.

"I'm deeply concerned by what we're seeing," Johnson told parliament. "We all want to see urgent de-escalation by both sides. The position of this government is ... we continue to believe that a two-state solution is the best way forward."

Israel warplanes have pounded Gaza this week, while Palestinian militants have rained rockets into Israel in the most intense hostilities between the two sides in years. At least 53 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the enclave's health ministry. Six people have been killed in Israel, medical officials said.

Italy and Germany want an immediate end to the violence, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said after talks with his German counterpart.

"We strongly request all the parties to immediately take measures aimed at de-escalation and to exercise the greatest restraint," De Maio said in a statement.

Sergei Vershinin, a Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, called on Israel on Wednesday to "immediately" stop all settlement activities in the Palestinian Territories, RIA news agency reported.

Vershinin also said that Moscow called for the "status quo of Jerusalem's sacred sites" to be respected, RIA reported.

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