Israel's ongoing illegal settlement expansion has been slammed by China during a UN briefing on the situation in Palestine. Beijing's representative at the world body insisted that settlements are a violation of international law and urged the international community to support the Palestinian people.
"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 [Security] Council Resolution 2334," said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN.
Adopted unanimously in 2016, Resolution 2334 states that Israel's settlement activity constitutes a "flagrant violation" of international law and has "no legal validity". It demands that Israel should stop such activity and fulfil its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
"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," continued Jun.
The Chinese envoy also expressed concerns over the deterioration of security in Palestine and the plight of 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 also urged the international community to continue to help Palestine alleviate its fiscal crisis, improve its economy and people's livelihood, and tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Underscoring the need to keep the focus on Israel's occupation, he stressed that the Palestinian question should not be marginalised, much less allowed to be 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," the envoy added.