Envoy warns against Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory

DM Monitoring

UNITED NATIONS: A Chinese envoy warned against Israel’s planned annexation of occupied Palestinian territory.
Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said China is concerned about the alleged plan by Israel to annex occupied Palestinian territory, in defiance of international law and relevant Security Council resolutions.
“We urge relevant parties to refrain from taking any such unilateral steps,” he told a virtual meeting of the Security Council. In his briefing to the Security Council, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said the two leading political parties in Israel on Monday signed a coalition agreement to form a government and agreed on advancing the annexation of parts of the West Bank, starting from July 1.
The Palestinian Authority has threatened to cancel the implementation of all bilateral agreements should the annexation occur, said Mladenov.
Zhang asked the parties to heed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for a global cease-fire and refrain from unilateral action that will aggravate tensions. Relevant parties should cease all settlement activities and stop the demolition of Palestinian homes and the destruction of Palestinian property, said Zhang, adding that measures should also be taken to prevent violence against civilians. He said the top priority now is to strengthen the preparedness and response to COVID-19.
Considering the obvious vulnerability of Palestinians on occupied territory under the pandemic, China encourages Israel and the Palestinian Authority to enhance cooperation on public health and security fronts, he said.
He urged relevant parties to fulfill their obligations under international law to ensure the delivery of essential services and humanitarian aid to people in need, suggesting the blockade on Gaza, which hinders pandemic responses, be lifted. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has intensified its efforts to help Palestinian refugees address this unprecedented health crisis, winning international recognition, he said, advocating the international community to continuously support the UNRWA’s work, including increased and stable financial support.
Relevant UN resolutions, the land-for-peace principle and the Arab Peace Initiative should be observed, any new initiative should meet those basic international parameters without exception, and the Security Council should work with the international community to advance the Middle East peace process, said Zhang. China maintains its principled positions on the Palestinian issue and stands ready to help the Palestinian people in their fight against the pandemic, he said, adding that the Chinese government and charity institutions have provided emergency medical supplies to the Palestinian people and will continue to do so. China remains committed to supporting Palestinians restore their legitimate national rights and establish a Palestinian state with full sovereignty based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, he said.