Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Chinese government reportedly refused to help in release of rescued Noa Argamani

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The People’s Republic of China reportedly refused to help Israel Defense Forces in their efforts to release the hostage Noa Argamani, who was rescued from captivity in Gaza on Sunday.

Israeli forces rescued 26-year-old Noa Argamani after she had been held hostage by Hamas terrorists for eight months. Noa’s mother, Liora Argamani, is Chinese and came to study in Israel in 1994, where she met her husband, Yaakov. Liora, born in Wuhan as Ching Hong Li, is currently hospitalized, fighting terminal brain cancer.

Noa Argamani with her father in the hospital following her rescue from Gaza, June 8, 2024. (Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Embassy in Beijing made numerous efforts to convince China to assist in efforts for Noa’s release, however, the Chinese government reportedly refused to address the issue.

According to one Chinese official, Noa was “only half Chinese” and “lacked Chinese blood,” which was used as a rationale to refuse assistance. However, according to Minyao Wang, a New York-based trial attorney with Reid Collins law firm, China was obligated to help her because Chinese law automatically extends citizenship to children born in China with one Chinese parent.

A few weeks after Noa was abducted into Gaza, Wang wrote: “Article 4 of the Chinese Nationality Law… provides that a child born in China to one Chinese parent is a Chinese citizen. The initial post by the Israeli Embassy in China stated that Noa was born in Beijing in 1997. If this were true, then Article 4 would have conferred automatic Chinese citizenship on Noa. There is no exception to this rule and its application would have been straightforward in Noa’s case. That Noa would have received Israeli citizenship through her father is not relevant under Chinese law.”

“In light of what we know about Noa, her mother, and Chinese nationality rules, it is reasonable to surmise that Noa has Chinese citizenship in the eyes of Chinese law. That would, under international law, impose legal and moral obligations on China to work for Noa’s release. Having conferred citizenship on her and not recognizing her Israeli nationality as a matter of domestic law, China is legally required to assist her at a time of distress. But given the geopolitical factors in play here, it is unlikely Beijing will honor its obligations,” Wang concluded.

Throughout the eight months of captivity, China refused to deal with Noa’s case despite repeated pleas from Israeli officials on her behalf. In December, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset he had “invited the Chinese ambassador and asked him to convey a direct message to President Xi Jinping regarding hostage Noa Argamani, who was taken along with her partner,” adding that he sought Xi’s intervention in Argamani’s case.

Since Oct. 7, China has blatantly supported and sided with Hamas, despite the deep ties that Israel has cultivated with China over the past decades.

In January, a large cache of Chinese weapons was found in Gaza.

“This has come as a big surprise as before the war, relations were very good, but we have found massive amounts of Chinese weaponry and the question is, did it come directly from China to Hamas or not?… This is top-grade weaponry and communications technology, stuff that Hamas didn’t have before, with very sophisticated explosives which have never been found before and especially on such a large scale,” an Israeli intelligence source told The Telegraph.

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