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Remarks by Ambassador Fu Cong at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East, Including the Palestinian Question

2024-05-20 22:37

President, 

I thank Algeria and Slovenia for initiating today’s meeting. I thank Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland and Director Edem Wosornu for their briefings. 

Over 220 days into the Gaza conflict, we have witnessed unprecedented civilian casualties, unprecedented infrastructure destruction, and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. Despite the repeated calls from the international community for an immediate ceasefire and the clear demands expressed in Security Council resolutions, Israel has chosen to turn a deaf ear. Facing strong opposition from the international community, Israel is still pushing ahead with its large scale offensive on Rafah, once again driving hundreds of thousands of Gazans into displacement. China expresses its grave concerns and strong opposition. Nothing can justify the perpetuation of conflict. The collective punishment of civilians does not create conditions conducive to the rescue of hostages. Israel must immediately cease its military operation in Rafah. China supports further Council actions to ensure the implementation of Council Resolution 2728. We also hope that the United States, as the country with major influence on Israel, can uphold impartiality and effectively facilitate a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities. 

The current humanitarian disaster in Gaza is inconceivable. The occupation of the Rafah border crossing has seriously hindered access for humanitarian aid. Humanitarian supplies from Jordan to Gaza have been blocked and sabotaged. Humanitarian workers and UN personnel are confronted with multiple obstacles and even risks to the lives. This is unacceptable. Land transportation is key to a large scale access for humanitarian goods. There is no substitute for it. Israel should effectively comply with its obligations under international law and international humanitarian law by immediately opening up all land crossings and ensuring the supply of food, medicine, fuel, and other basic necessities. UNWRA facilities in the West Bank were attacked. This is alarming. We call upon the occupying power to conduct thorough investigations into the incident and pursue accountability.

President,

The two-State solution is the only viable way to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli issue. China supports the establishment of an independent state of Palestine and its early admission as a full member of the United Nations. Gaza is an inalienable part of Palestine. Any proposal on postwar governance of Gaza should respect the will of the Palestinian people, should respect the legitimate concerns of the countries in the region, and should not deviate from the general direction of the two-State solution. 

May 15 this year marks the 76th anniversary of Nakba. For decades, generations of Palestinians have made arduous struggles for their legitimate rights. China will continue to work tirelessly together with the international community to promote an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, alleviate the humanitarian disaster, and implement the two-State solution, so that Nakba will forever be the past, Palestine and Israel can live side by side in peace, and the Middle East can enjoy lasting peace and stability.

Thank you, President. 

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