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China calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza
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Israel and Hamas should cease fire immediately and mitigate the humanitarian crisis, Sun Bigan, China's special envoy to the Middle East Region, told the press Thursday afternoon.

Voicing deep concern over the ongoing turbulence in the region, Sun said immediate ceasefire is urgent. Israel should stop military operations in Gaza immediately and Hamas should stop firing rockets at Israel.

"So long as the two sides cease fire, the situation will not deteriorate, more lives will not be harmed, and necessary conditions for solution through political ways can be created," Sun said.

He called for the international community and relevant sides to strengthen coordination and establish stable channels to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza as soon as possible.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday failed again to reach an accord on how to end the ongoing Gaza conflict. About 700 people have been killed and some 3,000 others wounded in Gaza during the 13-day-long onslaught, and the death toll is expected to rise. Ten Israelis have been killed so far, including six soldiers.

(Xinhua News Agency January 8, 2009)

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