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FACT CHECK: China calls for end to Israel-Hamas conflict


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FACT CHECK: China calls for end to Israel-Hamas conflict
While China has not directly intervened in the war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group, Beijing says it will support efforts for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict

Claim: China has intervened in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a Facebook video posted on October 16, which currently has 1.3 million views, 47,000 reactions, and 3,300 shares. The same video was posted on YouTube by a channel notorious for dubious claims about China’s military actions. It has 93,307 views and 3,300 likes as of writing.

The video says: “China nakialam na sa labanang Israel at Hamas. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi nagpahayag ng kanyang galit sa Israel.”

(China finally intervenes in the Israel and Hamas conflict. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed his anger at Israel.)

The bottom line: China has not intervened in the ongoing conflict as it seeks to present itself as a neutral mediator. However, Beijing has said it would support efforts for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and pushed for a “two-state solution.”

Call for restraint: China has repeatedly called for restraint from both sides, stating that “force is not a way to resolve” the dispute. On October 20, Beijing sent a special envoy to the Middle East to push for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

While affirming Israel’s “right to self-defense,” the Asian superpower has also condemned Israel for “going beyond” the scope of self-defense against the militant group.

According to news reports, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi reportedly told his Saudi Arabia counterpart Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud: “Israel’s actions have gone beyond self-defense and it should heed the call of the international community and the Secretary-General of the United Nations to stop its collective punishment of the people in Gaza.” 

Meanwhile, Beijing has refrained from explicitly condemning Hamas, which initiated the attacks on October 7, calling the group a “resistance movement” rather than a terrorist group as Israel and the US have labeled it.

Two-state solution: While China has adopted a position of neutrality and maintained cordial ties with Israel, it has been a longtime supporter of the Palestinian cause. China has said it will support efforts to restore the Palestinian people’s “legitimate rights” and pushed for a “two-state solution” as a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Ties with Israel: China has economic interests in the Middle East and has deepened economic ties with Israel. From 2015 to 2018, Israel was the largest recipient of China’s investments in the Middle East. China, meanwhile, has been an important trading partner for Israel. In 2017, the two countries also announced the establishment of an innovative comprehensive partnership in the areas of technology, agriculture, investment, finance, and medical services. 

Despite these economic ties, China has avoided taking sides in political crises in the Middle East and is unlikely to support Israel in its conflicts, according to the Arab Center

Israel-Hamas war: The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas began when the militant group launched an attack on the Gaza Strip on October 7, killing 1,400 people. Israel has since declared war on the group. (TIMELINE: Conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza)

As of writing, the death toll has reached over 6,000, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s October 24 report showed.

World leaders have called for a pause in fighting to allow aid into Gaza. Experts have raised serious humanitarian concerns as strikes hit residential areas, schools, hospitals, mosques, and churches.

Rappler has already published several fact-checks about the growing disinformation on the Israel-Palestine conflict:

– Kyle Marcelino/Rappler.com

Kyle Marcelino is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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