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China: Employee at Israeli embassy in Beijing stabbed in possible 'terror attack', reasons unknown

China's foreign ministry said that the stabbing incident did not take place on the embassy's grounds and the employee was hospitalised in a stable condition. This came after Israel expressed 'deep disappointment' with China's call for restraint in the former's ongoing war with Hamas.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Beijing Updated on: October 13, 2023 18:37 IST
Israeli tanks heading towards the Gaza Strip
Image Source : AP Israeli tanks heading towards the Gaza Strip

An employee of the Israeli embassy in Beijing was attacked and stabbed under uncertain circumstances on Friday. The worker was hospitalised and the assault was not immediately acknowledged by China.

In a statement, China's foreign ministry said that the attack did not happen on the embassy's grounds and that Israeli officials are trying to assess the "background" of what happened. "The employee was transferred to hospital and he is in a stable condition," the statement said.

Although the reason for the attack is not yet clear, it occurred after Israel criticised China for a lack of condemnation of the unprecedented terror attack by Hamas on Saturday that killed hundreds of people and sparked a new wave of conflict across the borders.

Later, China's Global Times reported that the family member of a 50-year-old Israeli diplomat was stabbed by a foreign individual on Friday in Chaoyang district. The suspect works in the small commodities business in Beijing, as per initial investigation. He has been apprehended by the police.

According to CNN, China has so far blandly called for restraint from both sides without any condemnation of Hamas for the violent attack. On Sunday, China's Foreign Ministry called on "relevant parties to remain calm, exercise restraint and immediately end the hostilities.” It also reiterated Beijing’s support for a “two-state solution” to establish an independent State of Palestine as a way out of the conflict.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who was in Beijing for a bipartisan congressional visit, expressed his disappointment with China’s response during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday. “I say this with respect but I’m disappointed by the foreign ministry’s statement showing no sympathy or support for the Israeli people during these tragic times,” Schumer said.

The deputy director for Asia and the Pacific at Israel's Foreign Ministry, Rafi Harpaz, has expressed "deep disappointment" with China's statements, reported Jerusalem Post.

"There is neither an element regarding Israel's right to defend itself and its citizens, a fundamental right of any sovereign state that was attacked in an unprecedented manner and with cruelty that has no place in human society," read a statement from the ministry.

The week-old war has already claimed over 2,800 lives on both sides and sent tensions soaring across the region. The death toll from Israeli strikes on Gaza rose to 1,537, with 6,612 people wounded, the Gaza-based Health Ministry said Thursday. Of those killed, 500 were under the age of 18, the ministry said. On the other hand, over 1,300 people have died in Israel from the Hamas attack since Saturday morning.

(with AP inputs)

ALSO READ | 13 hostages, including foreigners, killed in Israel's bombardment of Gaza Strip: Hamas

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