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FM: Cease-fire in Gaza ‘key to survival’




Beijing became the first stop on Monday of a mediation trip by a delegation of Arab-Islamic countries’ foreign ministers, who seek to cool down the ongoing conflict in the Gaza region.

At their meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, achieving a cease-fire and faithfully honoring international humanitarian law constituted the two key points of China’s latest proposal for resolving the Palestine question.

During the talks, China called for the convening of “an international peace conference of a greater scale, scope and efficacy at an early date “and asked for formulation of a timetable and a road map.

At the meeting on Monday, the two sides also exchanged support for each other’s peacemaking efforts.

The delegation members, whose visit to Beijing will wrap up on Tuesday, voiced hope for closer coordination with China to prevent the crisis from spreading, and they urged a restart of peace talks.

Wang pointed to the urgency of fully implementing the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, saying that a cease-fire is “no longer a diplomatic statement, but a key to the survival of the people of Gaza”.

He underlined the need to comply with international law, in particular international humanitarian law, and to reject any forced displacement and forced relocation of Palestinian civilians.

“Israel should stop collective punishment against the people of Gaza” and open a humanitarian corridor as soon as possible to prevent a wider humanitarian disaster, he said.

Members of the delegation include senior officials from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia and Palestine, as well as Hissein Brahim Taha, secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Observers said the meeting on Monday was the latest clear evidence of China’s consistent, constructive role in brokering peace in the Middle East, as it works to boost global unity in stopping bloodshed and discourage moves that worsen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Observers also said Beijing’s latest peacemaking efforts remind them of China’s successful push earlier this year for rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“The latest conflict escalation in Gaza serves as living proof to the whole world that the Middle East will not enjoy real, tangible peace as long as the Palestine question is not completely resolved,” said Li Shaoxian, director of Ningxia University’s China-Arab Research Institute.

“Since this year, China has helped make possible the booming reconciliation drives in the Middle East region, and China has been a consistent and constant driving force constructively making peace and building a stable, peaceful environment,” he added.

In terms of creating peace in the region, major countries in the world should join hands and cooperate on efforts to create even more enabling conditions for the peacemaking process, he said.

China, as the rotating president of the UN Security Council, has earnestly sought adoption of the first UN Security Council resolution since the start of the current hostilities.

At the talks, Arab-Islamic countries endorsed China’s longstanding and impartial stance on the Palestine question, and expressed appreciation for China’s role in UN efforts.

Regarding the UN Security Council, Wang said it should listen to the voices of Arab-Islamic countries and “take responsible actions to push the situation to cool down”.

China will continue to work with Arab-Islamic countries to strengthen coordination, build consensus and push the Security Council to “take further meaningful action” on the situation in Gaza, Wang added.

Monday also marked the 35th-anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Palestine.

Analysts said the ultimate settlement of the crisis hinges on realizing the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, which positions were reiterated on Monday by Beijing and the delegation.

“Despite the bumpy roads ahead toward the two-state solution, hope may still grow as long as all the parties work toward the same goal,” said Su Xiaohui, an associate research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies.

“On the other hand, moves that stir up tension or force others to take sides will only introduce more obstacles,” she warned.

While speaking of solutions to the current crisis that were proposed by various parties, Wang emphasized that none should deviate from the two-state solution, while all should be conducive to regional peace and stability.

He also pointed out that any arrangement involving the future of Palestine must obtain the consent of the Palestinian people and also “accommodate the legitimate concerns” of countries in the region.

Regarding the delegation’s making China the first stop for its mediation trip, Wang said it “shows a high degree of trust in China” and reflects the nation’s “fine tradition of mutual understanding and support”.

The visiting delegation voiced hopes that China will play a greater role in ending the conflict and resolving the Palestine question in a fair and just manner.

In a separate meeting with the delegation in Beijing on Monday, Vice-President Han Zheng expressed China’s “deep concern “over the “exceptionally dire humanitarian situation” in Gaza. He said that China is accelerating its help to Gaza in terms of emergency supplies and cash assistance.

Source(s): China Daily

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China releases paper on its position on Palestinian-Israeli conflict





BEIJING – The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday released a paper stating China’s position on resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The following is the full text:

Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China on Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

current Palestinian-Israeli conflict has caused heavy civilian casualties and a serious humanitarian disaster. It is a grave concern of the international community. President Xi Jinping stated China’s principled position on the current Palestinian-Israeli situation on a number of occasions. He stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire and ending the fighting, ensuring that the humanitarian corridors are safe and unimpeded, and preventing the expansion of the conflict. He pointed out that the fundamental way out of this lies in the two-state solution, building international consensus for peace, and working toward a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question at an early date.

Pursuant to the Charter of the United Nations, the Security Council shoulders primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and should thus play an active and constructive role on the question of Palestine. In this connection, China offers the following proposals:

1. Implementing a comprehensive ceasefire and ending the fighting. Parties to the conflict should truly implement the relevant UNGA and UNSC resolutions and immediately realize a durable and sustained humanitarian truce. Building on UNSC Resolution 2712, the Security Council, in response to the calls of the international community, should explicitly demand a comprehensive ceasefire and end of the fighting, work for deescalation of the conflict, and cool down the situation as soon as possible.

2. Protecting civilians effectively. The UNSC resolution demands in explicit terms that all parties comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, notably with regard to the protection of civilians. It is imperative to stop any violent attacks against civilians and violations of international humanitarian law, and avoid attacks on civilian facilities. The Security Council should further send a clear message on opposing forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population, preventing the displacement of Palestinian civilians, and calling for the release of all civilians and hostages held captive as soon as possible.

3. Ensuring humanitarian assistance. All relevant parties must, as per requirements of the UNSC resolution, refrain from depriving the civilian population in Gaza of supplies and services indispensable to their survival, set up humanitarian corridors in Gaza to enable rapid, safe, unhindered and sustainable humanitarian access, and avoid a humanitarian disaster of even greater gravity. The Security Council should encourage the international community to ramp up humanitarian assistance, improve the humanitarian situation on the ground, and support the coordinating role of the United Nations as well as the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in humanitarian assistance, and prepare the international community for supporting post-conflict reconstruction in Gaza.

4. Enhancing diplomatic mediation. The Security Council should leverage its role in facilitating peace as mandated in the UN Charter to demand that parties to the conflict exercise restraint to prevent the conflict from widening and uphold peace and stability in the Middle East. The Security Council should value the role of regional countries and organizations, support the good offices of the UN Secretary General and the Secretariat, and encourage countries with influence on parties to the conflict to uphold an objective and just position so as to jointly play a constructive role in deescalating the crisis.

5. Seeking political settlement. According to relevant UNSC resolutions and international consensus, the fundamental settlement of the question of Palestine lies in the implementation of the two-state solution, restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on the 1967 border and with east Jerusalem as its capital. The Security Council should help restore the two-state solution. A more broad-based, authoritative and effective international peace conference led and organized by the UN should be held as soon as possible to formulate a concrete timetable and roadmap for the implementation of the two-state solution and facilitate a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine. Any arrangement on the future of Gaza must respect the will and independent choice of the Palestinian people, and must not be imposed upon them.

Source(s): Policies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

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Türkiye to work for permanent truce in Gaza: Erdogan





ANKARA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) — Türkiye will step up its efforts for the release of the hostages and establishment of a lasting truce in the Gaza Strip, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

“We will accelerate our contacts to release the hostages and make the ceasefire permanent,” Erdogan said on X, formerly known as Twitter, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

“Hopefully, our initiatives will continue in a multi-dimensional manner in the future,” he said.

The Turkish government continues to dispatch humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza and has so far sent 12 relief planes and one ship to Egypt, according to Erdogan.

A second ship carrying 1,500 tons of humanitarian aid set sail earlier on Wednesday, according to the Turkish president.

“We take care of the treatment of injured people, especially cancer patients and children, by transporting them to Türkiye. Examinations for locations of the field hospitals we will establish in Gaza are underway,” Erdogan said.

Türkiye brought another 23 Gazan patients, along with their 21 companions, for treatment in the capital Ankara late Wednesday.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, who welcomed them at Etimesgut Airport in Ankara, said Türkiye has so far received a total of 200 people from Gaza, including 114 patients and 86 companions.

After weeks of Israeli strikes on Gaza in retaliation for an attack on Oct. 7 by Hamas against Israel, the two sides reached a four-day humanitarian truce last week, which was extended for another two days starting on Tuesday.

The Palestinian death toll from the Israel-Hamas conflict has surpassed 15,000, according to Palestinian figures. Israel said that the Hamas attack killed about 1,200 people while more than 200 people were taken as hostages.

Source(s): Xinhua

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Hamas, Israel release more hostages in fifth day of Gaza truce





A bus carrying 30 Palestinian prisoners departed on Tuesday evening from the Israeli Ofer prison, which is located near the West Bank city of Ramallah, said a Xinhua reporter on-site.

The Israel Prison Service confirmed that 30 Palestinians, including 15 women and 15 minors, were released from Israeli jails in the fifth swap under a truce deal between Israel and Hamas.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, handed over the fifth batch of hostages to the International Red Cross. The Israeli government also confirmed on Tuesday that the fifth batch of hostages released from the Gaza Strip by Hamas has returned to Israel.

The 12 hostages, including 10 Israelis and two Thai nationals, will undergo an initial medical examination before being escorted by security forces to the hospital to be reunited with their families, according to the statements issued by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and Israel Defense Forces.

The humanitarian four-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, supposed to expire on Tuesday morning, was extended for an additional two days, the Qatari Foreign Ministry announced on Monday.

Israel did not comment on the extension, but announced early Tuesday morning that it approved to release 50 more female Palestinian prisoners if “more Israeli hostages are released.”

Respite in Gaza

The total Palestinian death toll since the deadly assault on Gaza launched by Israel in retaliation for the October 7 surprise Hamas attack, has surpassed 15,000, including more than 6,150 children and over 4,000 women. More than 1,200 people have been killed on the Israeli side, mostly civilians killed in the initial attack, while more than 200 people were taken as hostages.

The calm from the truce allowed glimpses of the destruction wreaked by weeks of Israeli bombardment that leveled entire neighborhoods.

At least 160 bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes were retrieved by rescue teams in the Gaza Strip within the past 24 hours, the Hamas-run media office said on Tuesday.

It said that the bodies were recovered from various locations in the Palestinian coastal enclave ruled by Hamas, formally known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, using manual and rudimentary tools.

More than 6,500 people are still missing, including over 4,700 children and women, according to the office.

At least 1.7 million people have been displaced in the Gaza Strip and are facing the danger of significant spread of infectious diseases, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned in a recent statement.

Nearly 80 percent of Gaza’s population has become internally displaced, with approximately 896,000 displaced persons residing in 99 facilities in the central and southern parts of the region, the OCHA said.

Before the war resumes

Israel has vowed to resume the war with “full force” to destroy Hamas once it’s clear that no more hostages will be freed under the deal. The truce is due to end after one more exchange Wednesday night.

At the UN Security Council, China has acted in its capacity as president to facilitate the adoption of the resolution, which calls for extended humanitarian pauses and corridors, the protection of civilians, and the provision of humanitarian assistance.

On November 15, the UN Security Council under China’s presidency adopted Resolution 2712, calling for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip “for a sufficient number of days.”

Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the BRICS extraordinary virtual summit on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, saying that the parties to the conflict must end hostilities and achieve a ceasefire immediately.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will go to New York to preside over a high-level UN Security Council meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli issue on Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

As the rotating president of the UN Security Council for November, China hopes that by holding the meeting, all parties can have in-depth exchanges, build consensus and take concrete actions to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, realize a truce, protect civilians, and ultimately promote a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question through the two-state solution, said ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has told Israel that it must work to avoid “significant further displacement” of Palestinian civilians in southern Gaza if it renews its ground campaign aimed at eradicating the Hamas militant group, according to AP citing senior U.S. officials.

Source(s): CGTN

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