Palestine Seeks UN Help to Stem Al-Aqsa Incursion

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Palestine calls on UN Security Council to stop Israeli activists’ planned incursion into Al-Aqsa Mosque

 Palestine called on the United Nations Security Council to stop Israel from escalating tensions against Palestinians after Jewish activists reportedly decided to break into a holy mosque in East Jerusalem.

Israeli media reported that activists of some Jewish organisations called for an “incursion into Al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound,” which will be launched on Thursday morning until the afternoon.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the activists’ plans to raise Israeli flags and sing the Israeli national anthem at the mosque, saying in a statement that “these violations reflect the official Israeli insistence to escalate the situation and implement its plans to perpetuate the occupation.”

The ministry called on the Security Council “to take the necessary measures to pressure Israel to stop its escalation against the Palestinian people.”

Hussein Al-Sheikh, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, called the extremists’ plans “an outrageous disregard of the feelings of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims” and “a continuation of extremist racist campaigns.”

The Israeli government did not comment on the Israeli extremists’ calls. Since the start Ramadan early April, tension between Israelis and Palestinians has been running high.

The compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque, known as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, has long been a focal point of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Chinese Stance

As the question of Palestine always lies at the heart of the Middle East issue, it should not be sidelined, let alone forgotten, regardless of the evolution of the international situation, said a Chinese envoy.

On this matter, what is lacking is not a grand and fair plan, but rather the courage for action. The fundamental reason for repeated escalation is that the legitimate national rights of the Palestinians have not been realized and the two-state solution has not been put into practice, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

Recently, Palestinian-Israeli tensions have witnessed a new round of escalation. China condemns all attacks against civilians and opposes all violations of the historic status quo of religious holy sites, he told a Security Council meeting.

“The security of Israel and Palestine is interdependent and indivisible. If one side’s security is established at the expense of the other side’s security, it is impossible to break the cycle of violence or resolve the security conundrum,” he said. “Only by upholding the common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security concept, can peaceful co-existence be realized.”

Zhang Jun (C, Front), China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, addresses a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, at the UN headquarters in New York, on Feb. 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

China calls on all parties, in particular Israel, to exercise restraint, and prevent the situation from escalating further or even going out of control, he said.

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China supports continued communication between UN Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland and Israel, Palestine, and other parties to push for de-escalation. China supports the Arab League and Arab countries in playing their active roles. The Security Council should take very seriously the current situation and the call of Arab states, and take urgent actions and speak with one voice, thus playing its due role, said Zhang.

Settlements break the contiguity of occupied territories, squeeze the living space of the Palestinian people, and jeopardize the prospects of realizing a two-state solution. China urges Israel to stop the demolitions of Palestinian homes, stop the evictions of Palestinians, stop the expansion of settlements, and to create conditions for the development of Palestinian communities in the West Bank, he said.

China hopes that Palestine and Israel can continue their high-level engagement for an earlier relaunch of dialogue on an equal footing. China calls on the international community to make great efforts based on relevant UN resolutions and international consensus, such as the land-for-peace principle, so as to advance the Middle East peace process, he said.

China supports the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent state of Palestine based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, supports the peaceful co-existence of Palestine and Israel and the common development of the Arab people and the Jewish people. Along with the international community, China will continue its tireless efforts toward a comprehensive and just solution, he said.