China made its first public contact with Israel since last weekend’s attack by Hamas, hours after the Israeli ambassador called on Beijing to engage in talks around the conflict.

Zhai Jun, China’s special envoy on Middle East issues, said the country condemns actions that lead to the death of civilians, according a Foreign Ministry statement on his call with an Israeli foreign ministry official. China is also willing to work with the international community toward peace talks, it said.

"China has no selfish interests on the Palestinian issue and has always stood on the side of peace, fairness and justice,” the statement said.