Chinese envoy calls for efforts to defuse Israeli-Palestinian tensions over holy site

Wang Xinjuan
2023-01-06 15:08:19

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Thursday called on the parties concerned to exercise restraint to prevent escalation of tensions following new Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir's visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.

China is deeply worried about the rise of tensions as a result of Ben-Gvir's visit, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

In recent years, unilateral actions at the holy site in East Jerusalem have intensified problems and confrontations, triggering bloody conflicts many times. This truly reflects the sensitivity of the character and status of the holy site, he told the Security Council.

"China calls for the restoration and maintenance of peace and tranquility at the holy site, and calls on parties concerned to remain calm and restrained to prevent further escalation of tensions," said Zhang. "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. Security Council resolutions unequivocally condemn all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem. The parties concerned should earnestly maintain the status quo of the holy site in Jerusalem and respect Jordan's custodianship, as set out in relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, he said.

Having noticed the Israeli leader's expression of commitment to maintaining the status quo of the holy site, China hopes this commitment can be translated into constructive policies and actions, he said.

What underlies the repeated cycles of tensions between Palestinians and Israelis 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, said Zhang.

The international community should, with a sense of urgency, promote the resumption of peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis as soon as possible on the basis of the two-state solution, resolve Jerusalem and other final-status issues, and realize the peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel at an early date. Countries of significant influence should assume responsibility and effectively play a constructive role, he said.

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

Thursday's Security Council meeting was held at the request of China and the United Arab Emirates.

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