A staffer at the Israeli embassy in Beijing has been stabbed in the street.
Police arrested the 53-year-old attacker, described as a foreigner, while the Israeli government confirmed the 50-year-old victim is in a stable condition in hospital.
No motive was given for the attack, which took place close to the embassy, but it comes after Israel criticised China’s statement following the unprecedented attack by Hamas.
It also occurred against the backdrop of worldwide protests by Muslims at Israel’s intense retaliatory bombing campaign in Gaza.
An investigation into the attack is underway, the statement said.
Unverified videos on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed a blood-stained man lying on the pavement by a car, telling bystanders he was from the Israeli embassy.
In the video, a police officer can be heard identifying himself as a member of the Xinyuanli police station, located in northeastern Beijing, near the embassy district and a popular market frequented by foreigners for fresh produce.
Earlier, on Thursday, Israeli ambassador Rafi Harpaz spoke with China’s envoy for the Middle East, Zhai Jun, to express his country’s ‘deep disappointment’ at Beijing’s response to the Hamas attack.
The foreign ministry said there was ‘no clear and unequivocal condemnation of the terrible massacre committed by the terrorist organization Hamas against innocent civilians and the abduction of dozens of them to Gaza’.
It added: ‘The Chinese announcements do not contain any element of Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizens, a fundamental right of any sovereign country that was attacked in an unprecedented manner and with cruelty that has no place in human society.’
Asked about the Israeli statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reiterated that China opposes acts harming citizens and violating international law.
‘China will continue to work unremittingly for de-escalation of the situation and the resumption of peace talks,’ he said.
In Beijing, about half-a-dozen plainclothes police were stationed outside the Israeli Embassy in addition to the normal contingent of uniformed officers.
Just over a mile away at the Palestinian Embassy in Beijing, plainclothes officers were also on hand and one was tightening wires on a fence.
Since the war broke out, anti-Semitic remarks have surged on Chinese social media.
Bombarded with hostile messages, the Israeli Embassy in Beijing is filtering comments on its Chinese social media account.
The embassy selected a comment that said, ‘Support Israel! Destroy the terrorist organization!’ — the remarks got 5,700 likes.
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