China says ceasefire, end to violence the top priority in Palestine-Israel conflict
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday that a ceasefire and an end to the violence were the top priority in the Palestine-Israel conflict and urged the two sides to stop actions that may further deteriorate the situation.
Wang made the remarks while chairing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) open debate on "The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question" via video link, as Israel continued to launch air strikes in Gaza and the Hamas militant group kept up its rocket attacks on Israeli cities.
"China strongly condemns violent acts against civilians, and once again urges the two sides to immediately stop military and hostile actions, and stop actions that deteriorate the situation, including airstrikes, ground offensives, and rocket launches," Wang said, as the conflict prepared to enter its second week.
"Israel must exercise restraint in particular," he added.
Wang said humanitarian assistance is an urgent need and called on Israel to fulfill its obligations under international treaties, lift the blockade and siege of Gaza as soon as possible, guarantee the safety and rights of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories, and provide access for humanitarian assistance.
He also called on the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestine and said the UN must play a coordinating role to avoid a humanitarian disaster.
International support is an obligation, Wang noted, adding that the UNSC must take vigorous action on the Palestine-Israel conflict, reiterate its firm support for a "two-state solution," and push for a cooling down of the situation.
Wang said the UNSC has failed to speak in one voice due to obstruction by one country, and called on the United States to shoulder its responsibilities, adopt a fair stand, and support the UNSC in playing its role in easing the situation, rebuilding trust, and achieving a political settlement.
China also supports a more active role from the UN, the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other countries that have an important influence on the region, he added.
An ultimate way out of the Palestinian issue lies in the implementation of the "two-state solution," Wang pointed out.
China supports the two sides resuming peace talks based on a "two-state solution" as soon as possible, to establish an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty with East Jerusalem as its capital and based on 1967 borders, and fundamentally realize the peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel, realize the harmonious coexistence of the Arab and Jewish nations, and realize a lasting peace in the Middle East, Wang stressed.
"China will continue to intensify efforts to promote peace talks, and fulfill its duties as the rotating presidency of the UNSC," said Wang, adding that China invites peacemakers from Palestine and Israel to hold a direct talks in China.