Leaders of countries belonging to the BRICS framework -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- held an emergency meeting online on Tuesday to discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict. They also invited their counterparts from six countries, including Iran, that plan to join the bloc next year.
The leaders had different views of the situation, but they agreed on the need for a ceasefire and said that they can play a key role in finding a solution.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said both Israeli forces and Hamas militants have violated international law. He added that the "collective punishment" of Palestinian civilians constitutes a war crime.
Russian President Vladimir Putin refrained from criticizing either side. Instead, he blamed US officials for what he called a "humanitarian catastrophe." He said the events are a "direct consequence" of Washington's desire to "monopolize the role of mediator" between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said the "only viable way" to break the cycle is a two-state solution. He called for the convening of an "authoritative" international peace conference that would build an international consensus. He added that the "legitimate rights of Palestine" must be restored.