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China, Arab states call for early Gaza cease-fire

Declaration urges 'comprehensive, just and lasting' solution to Palestine question

By WANG QINGYUN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-01 08:44
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Palestinians make their way as they inspect the damages after Israeli forces withdrew from a part of Jabalia refugee camp, following a raid, in the northern Gaza Strip, May 30, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

China and Arab states have adopted a joint declaration calling for a cease-fire in Gaza as soon as possible as well as a "comprehensive, just and lasting" solution to the Palestine question amid ongoing Israeli military operations in Gaza.

In the joint declaration on the Palestine question released on Friday, one day after the 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was held in Beijing, both sides condemned Israel's attacks on Gaza.

They also condemned Israel's military offensive in Rafah, a city on the southwestern border of Gaza, days after an Israeli airstrike reportedly killed more than 40 people at a camp for displaced Palestinians in the area.

This round of the Palestine-Israel issue has dragged on for nearly eight months. Gaza has seen as many as 125,000 casualties of Palestinian civilians, most of whom are women and children, according to the joint declaration.

Palestinians in Gaza are subject to "fatal famines and blockades", and Israel is responsible for the humanitarian plight there, it said.

Both China and Arab states said they oppose the implementation of any plan, intention and behavior forcing Palestinian people to move from their land.

They urged the United Nations Security Council to adopt resolutions that are more binding to achieve an immediate, comprehensive and lasting cease-fire, stop the forced migration of Palestinian people and guarantee the provision of rescue supplies to Gaza.

Niu Xinchun, executive director of the China-Arab Research Institute of Ningxia University, said the joint declaration reflects the consistent position shared by China and Arab states over the conflict in Gaza.

The international community has been concerned by the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Niu said, adding that "an unconditional ceasefire is the most important way" to solve the crisis.

"China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a major country, while the Arab world is among the most influential external forces over the Gaza conflict," Niu said. Such a joint declaration will serve to place "great pressure on Israel", thus helping to promote a cease-fire, he said.

In the declaration, both sides voiced their support for Palestine becoming an official member state of the UN, and condemned the United States for using its veto power to stop it from becoming a UN member state.

They also welcomed the recent trend in which many countries have recognized as the State of Palestine, and urged countries that haven't made the recognition to do so as soon as possible.

Norway, Spain and Ireland formally recognized the State of Palestine on Tuesday, less than three weeks after the UN General Assembly convened an emergency special session and overwhelmingly adopted a resolution urging the Security Council to reconsider Palestine's full UN membership.

The two-state solution is receiving increasingly extensive support in the world, Niu said, adding that more than 140 of the 193 UN member states have recognized Palestine as a sovereign state.

China stands on the side of justice by always calling for an implementation of the two-state solution and decrying all forms of violence against civilians, he said.

The country has played "a leading role" in the international community's efforts to promote an immediate cease-fire in Gaza by making its voice heard at many multilateral and bilateral occasions, including in the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council and BRICS summits, Niu added.

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