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China released what it called its three-step plan Tuesday for ending the Israel-Hamas war — while Gaza refugees in UN shelters are reduced to sharing a single toilet for every 160 people and one shower for every 700.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaking at a summit of BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — called for the formation of an “international peace conference” aimed at establishing an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.
“Second, humanitarian corridors must be kept secure and unimpeded, and more humanitarian assistance should be provided to the population in Gaza,” Jinping said, according to the state-run Xinhua news outlet.
“Third, the international community must act with practical measures to prevent the conflict from spilling over and endangering stability in the Middle East as a whole,” he said.
China’s call for peace came as the United Nations said about 1.7 million people in Gaza have been displaced since the war broke out after the Palestinian Hamas terror group’s Oct. 7 attack in Israel.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees said it has seen its shelters in Gaza buckle under the weight of all the refugees.
On average, the agency said it has only one shower for every 700 people and about one toilet for every 160.
The humanitarian group’s shelters have also been devastated by Israeli airstrikes, with about 67 locations hit since the war began, according to UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.
The group estimates that at least 176 refugees have been killed in the airstrikes, along with 108 staffers.
“We cannot even protect people under the United Nations flag,” he said in a statement. “The people of Gaza are not safe anywhere: not at home, not under the U.N. flag, not in a hospital, not in the North, and not in the South.”
Conflicts have also erupted in other areas of the Middle East, with US military officials Tuesday saying a base housing US troops in Iraq was hit, causing “minor injuries to US personnel and damage to infrastructure,” The Times of Israel reports. It wasn’t immediately clear what group was responsible for the violence.
A convoy tied to Hezbollah that was traveling to Baghdad was also hit Tuesday by a drone strike, killing one militia member and injuring at least three others, military officials told the outlet.
It is unclear if the attacks are linked, but it stands as the latest violence against US personnel in Iraq and Syria since the Israel-Hamas war began.
Meanwhile, airstrikes continued in Gaza on Tuesday despite the pending cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas, with multiple explosions witnessed by CNN reporters across the border in Sderot.
Along with the refugee camps, hospitals in Gaza have been shaken by the airstrikes as the Israel Defense Forces look to take out Hamas terrorists allegedly stationed beneath the medical centers.
Injured Palestinians were evacuated from the Indonesian Hospital on Monday and sent south to the Nasser Hospital to receive care, as all of the hospitals in northern Gaza have been rendered nearly inoperable.
While evacuations continue out of northern Gaza, the International Rescue committee labeled the area “the deadliest war zone in the world for civilians” Tuesday.
“The way the conflict is being waged is unacceptable from a humanitarian point of view,” the IRC said, estimating Palestinian deaths at more than 11,000. “Civilians are bearing the brunt.”
After Jinping’s call to keep the war from spilling outside of Gaza, the UNRWA warned that violence in the West Bank had “reached levels not seen in the last 15 years.”
The US State Department said Monday that America is considering sanctions against Israeli settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.
“We don’t like to announce sanctions that we’re going to make before we’ve implemented them,” rep Matthew Miller told reporters.
“I will reiterate that our first priority is for the government of Israel to take action against those extremists who are committing violence against Palestinians. But we have options at our disposal as well that we will use if appropriate,” he added.
Miller declined to say if the US would prosecute any American settlers found to have committed criminal acts in the West Bank.
Outside the West Bank, conflicts have spiked between Israel and Hezbollah extremists across the Lebanese border – with the Lebanese government claiming several people, including three journalists, were killed Tuesday in an Israeli airstrike.