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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question

2023-01-05 18:11

Mr. President, 

First of all, I wish to thank Assistant Secretary General Khiari for his briefing. 

At the Council’s regular meeting two weeks ago, I said that I hope the new year will bring new hopes to the Palestinian people. But what we are now witnessing is obviously not the right way to start the new year. A few days ago, Israeli government official entered the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which aggravated tensions on the ground. China is deeply worried about this. 

In recent years, unilateral actions in the holy sites in East Jerusalem have once and again intensified problems and confrontations, triggering bloody conflicts many times. This truly reflects the sensitivity of the character and status of holy sites. At present, the act of Israeli official has resulted in a fragile and grave situation on the ground. China calls for the restoration and maintenance of peace and tranquility in the holy sites, and calls on parties concerned to remain calm and restrained to prevent further escalation of tensions. Israel, in particular, should stop all incitements and provocations, and should refrain from any unilateral action that may lead to the deterioration of the situation. 

China stands for upholding international rule of law and abiding by the international consensus on Jerusalem. The Security Council resolutions unequivocally condemn all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem. The parties concerned should earnestly maintain the status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem, and respect Jordan’s custodianship of the holy sites, as set out in relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. We have noticed the Israeli leader’s expression of commitment to maintain the status quo of the holy sites. We hope this commitment can be translated into constructive policies and actions. 

Mr. President, 

What underlies the repeated cycles of tensions between Palestine and Israel is the repeatedly delayed implementation of the two-state solution. Facts have proved once again that piecemeal crisis management can hardly play an effective role, much less can it replace a comprehensive and just solution. The international community should increase its sense of urgency, promote Palestine and Israel to restart the peace talks as soon as possible on the basis of the two-state solution, resolve Jerusalem and other final status issues, and realize peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel at an early date. Countries with significant influence in this regard should assume the responsibility, and effectively play a constructive role. 

I would like to reiterate that China supports the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We will continue to work with the international community to make positive contributions to the comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question and the attainment of durable peace and common security in the Middle East. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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