A Chinese envoy on Monday voiced concern over Palestinian-Israeli tensions and called on the UN Security Council to take meaningful actions toward a solution.
For some time now, Palestinian-Israeli relations have continued to be tense. Israel's unilateral actions keep escalating, pushing the situation to the brink of spinning out of control, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.
"We note with concern that violence in the West Bank has been intensifying. Search-and-arrest operations, settler violence, and incidence of clashes and attacks have continued to cause serious civilian casualties, including children," he said.
The solemnness and sanctity of Jerusalem's holy sites have been repeatedly violated, and the historic status quo has been frequently challenged. Provocative acts and inflammatory rhetoric of all kinds have continued to intensify conflict and confrontation, he said.
Israel keeps advancing its settlement activities. Earlier this month, the government announced its decision to legalize nine outposts and its plan to build 10,000 settlement units in the West Bank, causing widespread condemnation and concern, said Zhang.
These negative developments run counter to international law, Security Council resolutions, repeated calls for de-escalation, and efforts by the international community to preserve the two-state solution, he said.
The presidential statement just adopted by the Security Council is an important step in managing the current crisis. It also shows the determination and readiness of the vast majority of the council members to uphold and implement the two-state solution, said Zhang.
"The Security Council should be ready to take meaningful actions whenever necessary to shoulder its responsibilities enshrined in the (UN) Charter," he said.
The critical services delivered by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), such as education, health care, and social assistance, have ensured the basic livelihood of Palestine refugees, demonstrating the international community's solidarity with them, and fulfilling the international community's common responsibility toward them. China fully recognizes and highly commends UNRWA's work, said Zhang.
In recent years, the alarm of fiscal crisis for UNRWA has been triggered time and again, which implies that the situation of Palestine refugees keeps getting worse and their humanitarian needs keep growing, he said.
The agency's work has been going on nonstop for over seven decades, and this also means that the Palestinian question has yet to be solved after over seven decades, said Zhang.
Faced with such protracted injustice and suffering, the international community should conduct serious reflections and correct its mistakes without delay. Among other things, it should break away from piecemeal crisis management and promote a comprehensive, just, and durable solution for the Palestinian question, he said.