China's special envoy on Middle East issues is expected to have a telephone conversation with Israeli officials on Thursday, Israel's Ambassador to China, Irit Ben-Abba, told Bloomberg News.

The planned talks come after Islamist group Hamas launched the biggest attack on Israel in years from the Gaza Strip.

Israel's military has said it was on a war footing, adding it had carried out strikes targeting Hamas in Gaza and had called up reservists.

China will likely talk about the meeting later in the afternoon, during a regular briefing held by the foreign ministry, Bloomberg reported.

China's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

China's special envoy on the Middle East, Zhai Jun, earlier this week said the country condemns acts that harm civilians and called for an immediate ceasefire.

China has previously worked on Israel-Palestine issues and has engaged officials from Israel and the Palestinian Authority - which governs in the occupied West Bank - as well as the Arab League and EU in the last year to discuss a two-state solution and recognition for Palestine at the United Nations. (Reporting by Gursimran Kaur in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)