In a recent UN Security Council briefing on the Middle East situation, including the Palestinian issue, Ambassador Zhang Jun of China highlighted the critical need for international action to address the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He commended Algeria's initiative for the meeting and appreciated USG Martin Griffiths' insights, bringing attention to the persistent violence and deepening humanitarian crisis in the region.
Ambassador Zhang expressed concern over continuous infringements of international and humanitarian laws and the significant threats posed to regional peace and security. He called on the global community and the Security Council to act decisively to uphold justice, preserve lives, and facilitate peace amidst the turmoil.
Emphasizing the imperative for an immediate ceasefire, Ambassador Zhang criticized the obstructionist and passive attitudes of some nations, asserting that military operations cannot secure lasting peace. He highlighted that the ongoing conflict in Gaza exacerbates the loss of life and regional instability, pushing the prospects of Middle East peace further out of reach. He urged Israel to halt its military offensives in Gaza and called for all involved parties to maintain restraint and avoid actions that could escalate tensions.
Addressing the dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza, described as "hellish" by the WHO Director-General, Ambassador Zhang called for practical measures to mitigate the crisis. He advocated for the complete implementation of Security Council resolutions 2712 and 2720, urging Israel to ensure unhindered access to essential supplies and safeguard humanitarian workers.
Moreover, Ambassador Zhang reiterated his support for the two-state solution as the sole viable path to achieving peace between Palestine and Israel. He called on Israel to cease actions undermining this resolution, including forced displacements, settlement expansions, and violence against Palestinians. He proposed an international peace conference to fast-track the establishment of a timeline and roadmap for the two-state solution and endorsed Palestine's full UN membership.
On the issue of allegations against UNRWA employees linked to the October 7 attack, Ambassador Zhang advocated for a fair, impartial UN-led investigation. He cautioned against allowing individual incidents to overshadow the broader need for ceasefire and humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza. Highlighting UNRWA's crucial role in providing essential support to Gaza's population, he appealed to the international community, particularly key donors, to continue backing UNRWA during the investigation period.