China calls for urgent, decisive actions on Palestinian question

BEIJING/PNN/ China Monday called for urgent and decisive actions to prevent the Palestinian question from being totally derailed.

“It has been proven time and again that the question of Palestine is the crux of the peace in the Middle East. Piecemeal crisis management cannot substitute for a comprehensive and just settlement. Limited economic and humanitarian measures cannot erase the political and security deficit. And individual national policies cannot replace long-established international consensus and multilateral process, including resolutions adopted by this Council and the General Assembly one after another. What is needed for the time being is urgent and decisive actions, so as to prevent the train of Palestinian-Israeli situation from totally falling off the track,” China’s permanent ambassador Zhang Jun told a UN Security Council briefing on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question.

Zhang voiced his country’s deep concern over the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territory.

He went on to denounce the expansion of Israeli colonial settlements, the pillage of natural resources, and the encroachment upon Area C, which constitutes 60 percent of the occupied West Bank and falls under full Israeli military rule.

“Under the Israeli occupation, Palestine’s viability has been squeezed to the limit. We have noted with great concern that approximately 18% of Area C in the West Bank has been designated by Israel as a closed military zone for training, and some 50% has been designated for other purposes, effectively closing it off for Palestinian construction, and economic activity and development.”

“What is more concerning is that the continued expansion of settlements has encroached upon Palestinian land and natural resources, undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and made a geographically contiguous, independent, and the sovereign State of Palestine ever more elusive to achieve. Every brutal inch of expansion of settlement is making the prospect of a two-state solution much harder to achieve,” he added.

He urged Israel to stop its contempt for Resolution 2334, stop all colonial settlement activities, and halt further undermining the foundation for the two-state solution.

Noting that recently the security situation in the occupied territory has continued to be volatile, Zhang said that his country strongly condemns the continued violence by Israeli forces and the settlers, which has resulted in heavy Palestinian casualties, including children.

He urges Israel to launch as soon as possible a criminal investigation into the killing of iconic Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and release its findings in order to ensure accountability.

“The question of Palestine is a litmus test of the international justice and fairness,” Zhang said while pointing out that “the question of Palestine has been without a solution for over 70 years, and that international justice has been denied for over 70 years.”

He underlined the fact that adopting a crisis management approach to the Palestinian question is not a substitute for a just solution.

“It has been proven time and again that the question of Palestine is the crux of the peace in the Middle East. Piecemeal crisis management cannot substitute for a comprehensive and just settlement. Limited economic and humanitarian measures cannot erase the political and security deficit. And individual national policies cannot replace long-established international consensus and multilateral process, including resolutions adopted by this Council and the General Assembly one after another. What is needed for the time being is urgent and decisive actions, so as to prevent the train of Palestinian-Israeli situation from totally falling off the track,” he stressed.

Zhang said that China calls upon the international community, especially those having a key influence on the parties concerned, to make genuine efforts for the peace process in the Middle East.

“This would mean promoting the two-state solution with the utmost urgency, rather than waiting for so-called conditions for dialogue to mature. This would mean adhering to the concept of indivisibility of security, giving equal importance to the security concerns of both Palestine and Israel, rather than allowing tacitly that the security of one side is built on the insecurity of the other.”

“This also means persevering in a responsible attitude, rather than allowing policy flip-flop to further complicate the peace process. In the end, it also means to ditch the double standard and uphold an objective and impartial position, rather than being engaged in the long-term practice of setting roadblocks for the Council’s handling of the Palestinian-Israeli question.”

He recalled that in their declaration released following the 14th BRICS Summit, convened on June 23 to 24, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa reaffirmed their commitment to a peaceful and prosperous Middle East and North Africa, called upon the international community to support efforts aimed at the stability and peace in the region.

As a responsible member of the international community, China will be always on the side of peace and justice, on the side of human conscience and fairness, and on the right side of history, he said.

“We will firmly support the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights, and will continue to make unremitting efforts for achieving comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East,” he concluded.

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