China to Send $1 Million In Cash to Gaza After Ceasefire With Israel

China is prepared to send more than $2 million to Gaza to help a relief effort for the Palestinian people in the wake of two weeks of violence between Hamas and Israel.

Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday after the area saw its worst violence in years. Hundreds of people, mostly Palestinians, were killed in the conflict that drew in the global community and China, as the head of the United Nations Security Council, joined the chorus of countries calling for Israeli restraint.

With the bombardment of rockets and airstrikes at least temporarily over, China said a "grave humanitarian situation" has been left in the Gaza Strip. The country will send $1 million in cash to Gaza, which China foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian called "emergency humanitarian assistance."

In addition to the cash, Zhao said China is offering $1 million worth of donations and 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

"[China will] continue to provide humanitarian supplies to the best of its ability in light of Palestine's needs, and take an active part in the reconstruction of Gaza," Zhao said.

china palestine gaza israel relief
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian announced on Friday that China was sending $1 million in cash to Gaza. Zhao speaks at the daily media briefing in Beijing on April 8, 2020. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

China spearheaded the Security Council's push to issue a unified statement calling for a ceasefire and criticized the United States for putting the kibosh on the effort. Israel is one of America's closest allies and throughout the conflict, U.S. officials walked the line between calling for an end to the violence and condemning its ally.

Biden administration officials and the president himself backed Israel's right to defend itself while calling for the country to carefully consider its actions.

The international pressure appeared to do little to alter Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's view of the situation as he stood firm in Israel's actions. Citing the threat Hamas poses to both Israelis and Palestinians, he said a ceasefire wouldn't come until Israel concluded its goal of degrading the terrorist organization's capabilities.

After news broke of the ceasefire, Biden reaffirmed America's commitment to preserving the Iron Dome, a defense system that's credited with saving Israeli lives. While America will help to provide humanitarian aid to people in Gaza, Biden said it would only work with the Palestinian Authority in a manner that doesn't allow Hamas to "simply restock its military arsenal."

"I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy," Biden said. "My administration will continue our quiet and relentless diplomacy toward that end. I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress, and I'm committed to working for it."

That "quiet" diplomacy came under criticism from Zhao, who pushed the United States on Friday to take a "just position" and support the Security Council to promote "the settlement of the Palestinian question."