A Palestinian protester burns tires during clashes following a protest against the expanding of Jewish settlements in Kufr Qadoom village near the West Bank city of Nablus, March 18, 2022. (Photo by Nidal Eshtayeh/Xinhua)
China on Tuesday called on Israel to cease expanding settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
"We call on Israel to halt the expansion of settlements, stop the eviction of Palestinians, stop the demolition of Palestinian homes, and create conditions for the development of Palestinian communities in the West Bank, as called for in council resolution 2334," China's permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun told the Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.
The ambassador said that "settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory violate international law, disrupt the contiguity of the occupied Palestinian territory, squeeze the living space of the Palestinian people, and affect the prospects for achieving the two-state solution."
On the security situation, Zhang said that China is concerned about the recent deterioration of the security situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and deeply saddened by the casualties on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides caused by the violence, especially Palestinian children.
"The protection of children in conflict settings is not an empty slogan, but an unshakable moral responsibility and an international obligation that must be fulfilled. We call for a thorough investigation of the recent violence and for effective accountability," he said.
The ambassador noted that China calls on all parties concerned to refrain from provocative words and deeds, to refrain from incitement to violence, to jointly uphold and respect the historic status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem, to make every effort to prevent the situation from escalating out of control, and not to allow the conflict in Gaza last year to repeat itself, with the upcoming month of April, which will celebrate important holidays for both Muslims and Jews.
The envoy also urged the international community to continue to help Palestine alleviate its fiscal crisis, improve its economy and people's livelihood, and fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zhang underscored that the current security situation in Europe has drawn attention from all parties, but the Palestinian-Israeli issue is equally important.
"The Palestinian question should not be marginalized, much less allowed pending for a long time. China will continue to work with the international community to make unremitting efforts and contribute China's share to a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine," he said.