China Blasts U.S. Response to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict as 'Political Farce'

China took aim at the U.S. response to the escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinians on Friday, describing the response from Washington as a "political farce."

Since the violence escalated this week, 119 have been killed in the Palestinian territory of Gaza, including 31 children and 19 women, and 830 were wounded, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, the U.S. has maintained that Israel has a right to defend itself, as the Palestinian militant group Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets toward Israeli targets. China condemned the American response to the crisis after the U.S. blocked a U.N. Security Council meeting to address the escalating conflict.

"What we can feel is that the U.S. keeps saying that it cares about the human rights of Muslims...but it was ignoring the suffering of the Palestinian people," Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Friday.

"The U.S. should realize that the lives of Palestinian Muslims are equally precious," Hua added, describing Washington's expressed concern about the human rights of Palestinians as a "political farce." The Chinese official also questioned the rationale behind blocking the U.N. Security Council meeting.

Palestinians
A Palestinian woman reacts as people assess the damage caused by Israeli air strikes, in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, on May 14 MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

"I wonder if the U.S. can answer this question straightforward: Why is it doing so?" Hua asked.

She went on to compare the U.S. response to Palestinians to its condemnation of China's treatment of the Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority. Hua argued that the U.S. has a double standard, as it has criticized China for mistreating Muslims while supporting Israel as it carries out attacks on Palestinians.

Hua said the U.S. condemnation of China's treatment of the Uyghurs is based on "lies and political prejudice."

The U.S. government has described China's oppression of the Uyghurs as "genocide." As many as 2 million Uyghurs have been forced into Chinese concentration camps, where they have reportedly been subjected to torture, sexual abuse and even forced sterilization. China has maintained that the camps are for "reeducation" and dismissed reports of torture and ill treatment.

Meanwhile, the administration of President Joe Biden has urged Israel and the Palestinians to end hostilities, but he voiced support for Israel's right to self-defense. Biden said he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday and reaffirmed the U.S. government's "unwavering support" for Israel's "right to defend itself." Minister of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Wednesday, saying U.S. support for Israel is "Ironclad."

The current tensions arose last week ahead of the pending evictions of Palestinian residents from Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlers. Although the decision over the evictions has now been put on pause, the conflict boiled over last week after Israeli security forces cracked down on Palestinians as they prayed and demonstrated at the Al-Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan. Hamas then began firing rockets at Israeli targets, followed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

Israel has positioned ground troops by the borders of Gaza, and a ground invasion is believed to be likely. Seven Israelis have been killed, including a 6-year-old boy, according to the Associated Press.

Newsweek reached out to the State Department for comment but did not hear back before publication.