'Stop encroaching upon Palestinian land,’ China tells Israel

China has called on Israel to “stop encroaching” upon the land and resources of the Palestinian people.

“Since the beginning of this year, Israel has continued to advance unilateral actions on approving returns, building new settlements, and legalizing settlements,” Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN told the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

The Security Council was discussing the situation in the Middle East, said a readout by the Chinese mission to the UN.

Geng said that the Israeli settlement activities violate international law and UN Security Council Resolution 2334, adding: “The historical status quo of religious holy sites in Jerusalem must be respected and upheld.”

“We urge Israel to immediately halt these actions and stop encroaching upon the land and resources of the Palestinian people,” he said.

Pointing to tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories, Geng said a senior Israeli security official entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for a second time this year and “caused renewed tensions.”

On Sunday, Israeli National Security Minister Ben-Gvir forced his way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex. Once inside, he claimed Israel’s ownership of the holy site.

Several countries, including the US, Türkiye, France, Jordan, Qatar, Malaysia and Egypt condemned the provocation and the minister’s inflammatory rhetoric.

“On the issue of religious holy sites, Israel must stop its provocations, guarantee the right to worship of Muslim worshipers, uphold the peace and tranquility of religious holy sites, and respect the custodianship of Jordan,” the Chinese diplomat told the UN Security Council.

Geng said that tensions between Palestine and Israel “have been repeating themselves over the past few years, fully demonstrating that a long-stalled peace process is not sustainable, that piecemeal crisis management will not last, and that a comprehensive and just solution is irreplaceable.”

"The country with major influence on the parties concerned should make concrete efforts to advance the Middle East peace process and should not unjustifiably prevent the Security Council from arriving at the minimum consensus on the Palestine-Israeli issue," he added.

“China will continue to firmly support the Palestinian people and their just cause to restore their legitimate national rights, and support the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent state of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Geng said.

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