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BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for an "international peace conference" to resolve the conflict between Israel and Hamas, as he addressed a virtual summit of fellow BRICS leaders.

"There can be no sustainable peace and security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine," Xi said, speaking through an interpreter.

"China calls for an early convening of an international peace conference that is more authoritative to build international consensus for peace," he said.

Such a conference would, Xi added, "work toward an early solution to the question of Palestine that is comprehensive, just and sustainable".

"Since the outbreak of the latest Palestinian-Israeli conflict, China has been working actively to promote peace talks and a ceasefire," he said.

Beijing, he said, "has provided humanitarian assistance to help ease the humanitarian plight in Gaza" and would continue to do so.

Pretoria is hosting a virtual meeting of BRICS -- a group of major emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- aimed at drawing up a common response to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza.

According to Hamas, the war has killed more than 13,300 people, thousands of them children.

China has historically been sympathetic to the Palestinians and supportive of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Beijing has been calling for an immediate ceasefire since the start of the war last month.

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