China on Thursday urged Hamas to release abducted soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, saying it was "deeply concerned" about the latest Israeli-Palestinian crisis. "We urge Israel to exercise restraint and halt military action, and call on Palestine to release the hostage as early as possible," said Jiang Yu, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, at a regular briefing. "China is deeply concerned about the increasing tension between Palestine and Israel." Jiang said China hoped "the two parties can maintain restraint and calmness and put an end to the cycle of violence."