|Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Open Debate on Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question
Thank you, Mr. President,
I would like to thank Deputy Special Coordinator Ms. Hastings and Ms. Oppenheimer for their briefings, both of which could help the Security Council understand this situation more comprehensively and have fuller consideration. I would also like to welcome the participation of representatives from Palestine and Israel at today's meeting.
It has been two months since the last conflict in the Gaza Strip ended, yet the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories remains unstable. Unilateral actions by Israel are increasing, which is a matter of concern. In July alone, Israel demolished or confiscated dozens of Palestinian structures in communities in Humsa al-B’qaia and Ras al-Tin, displacing over 100 Palestinians, including children. Right before Eid al-Adha, the Israeli security forces clashed with Palestinians near Al-Aqsa Mosque, which exacerbated the tension in East Jerusalem.
China urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint and avoid any action that might heighten tension. Israel must earnestly comply with relevant UN resolutions, stop demolishing Palestinian homes and evicting Palestinian inhabitants, discontinue its settlement expansion, put an end to the violence, threats and provocations towards the Muslims, and effectively maintain and respect the historical status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem.
The current humanitarian situation in Palestine is worrying. The international community should scale up its assistance to the Palestinians and support the reconstruction of Gaza. We urge Israel to earnestly fulfill its obligation under international law, ensure the safety and rights of civilians in the occupied territories, facilitate the access of humanitarian assistance and promptly and fully lift blockade on and besiege of Gaza.
China is always committed to the interests of Palestinian people and has on multiple occasions provided emergency cash transfer, anti-COVID supplies, vaccines and other humanitarian assistance. Earlier this month, we delivered a donation of 1 million US dollars to UNWRA to support its food aid program in the Gaza Strip. China will continue to provide Palestine with much needed assistance on the existing basis, and donate another 1 million doses of vaccines to the Palestinian side. China will also partner with Egypt, and use the vaccine bottling factory in Egypt jointly established by the two countries to donate half a million doses of vaccines to Palestinians in Gaza.
The Palestinian question is at the root of the turbulence in the Middle East. The resolution of this question cannot be delayed indefinitely. China remains firmly committed to the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore national rights. We support the establishment of an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Recently, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had in-depth exchanges of views on the Palestinian question with relevant countries during his visit to the Middle East. He emphasized that the two-state solution is an international consensus that demonstrates fairness and justice. It is the only viable way to resolve the Palestinian question.
China has put forward three ideas on materializing the two-state solution. First, the authority of the Palestinian National Authority should be enhanced. It should be authorized to exercise sovereign functions in security, finance and other areas, so as to gain effective control over the autonomous and occupied territories. Second, the Palestinian factions should be supported for greater unity, whereby they can achieve internal reconciliation through consultation and dialogue, and come to a unified position on talks for the settlement of the Palestinian question. Third, Palestine and Israel should be encouraged to resume peace talks based on the two-state solution. Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are welcome to conduct direct talks in China. In the meantime, China calls for the holding of international peace conference led by the UN, with the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council and all the stakeholders in the Middle East peace process, to seek a comprehensive, lasting and just settlement of the Palestinian question, and to enable Palestine and Israel to coexist in peace.
These ideas from China received positive responses from Palestine and countries in the region, and were welcomed by a dedicated statement issued by Foreign Minister of Palestine, Mr. Al-Maliki. We are ready to work with relevant parties and the international community to put true multilateralism into practice, enhance international cooperation, defend equity and justice, turn the vision of the two-state solution into reality, translate consensus into action, so as to realize lasting peace and stability in the Middle East at an early date.
Thank you, Mr. President.