Chinese President Xi Jinping would attend the BRICS extraordinary virtual summit on the Palestinian-Israeli issue on November 21, as Israel’s unrelenting bombardment kills at least 13,000 Palestinians including at least 5,500 children.
He would be attending the summit at the invitation of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a post on X, erstwhile Twitter, on Monday.
The development comes hours after a delegation of Arab and Muslim ministers held meetings with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi. The officials were from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, Palestinian authorities and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
They called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. It was the first leg of their tour to push for an end to hostilities and to allow humanitarian aid into the devastated Palestinian enclave.
The delegation, which is set to meet officials representing each of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, is also piling pressure on the West to reject Israel’s justification of its actions against Palestinians as self-defence.
Earlier in the day, a group of 28 premature babies from Gaza were evacuated from a hospital inside the bombarded Palestinian enclave into Egypt to receive treatment.
The babies, from a total of 31 who were moved on Sunday from the besieged Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to a maternity hospital in southern Gaza as a first step towards evacuation, wore only nappies and tiny green hats.
Last month, the Chinese leader called for a ceasefire over the conflict and reiterating that establishing “an independent state of Palestine” through a two-state solution was the “fundamental way out of” the conflict.
“The top priority is to stop the fighting as soon as possible, prevent the conflict from spreading or even getting out of control and causing a severe humanitarian crisis,” Xi had said during his meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly in Beijing.