China says Israel’s settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are a major obstacle to the resumption of stalled Palestinian-Israeli talks.
Addressing a routine monthly UN Security Council (UNSC) session on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Tuesday, deputy permanent representative of the Chinese mission to the UN Wang Min expressed opposition to the Israeli settlement construction in the occupied lands and urged Tel Aviv to halt settlement activities in the West Bank.
“The Israeli settlement is the direct cause resulting in the stalemate of the Palestine-Israel peace talks. It is also the major obstacle for the resumption of the peace talks," Xinhua quoted Wang as saying on Tuesday.
"China is against the Israeli construction of settlement in the occupied Palestine territory. We appeal to Israel to immediately cease its settlement activities and help create conditions for the mutual trust between the two parties and break the stalemate of the peace talks," Wang told the UNSC.
In September 2010, Israel resumed the expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories after a10-month partial freeze, prompting the Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders to break off the US-sponsored talks with Tel-Aviv that had resumed after a lengthy stalemate.
Some analysts believe that the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank was a pre-planned scheme by some lobbies in Israel in order to hinder the direct talks.
The work on settlements in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem) has drawn international criticism. Israel, however, remains defiant in the face of calls to halt its illegal settlement activities.
The PA insists that Israel must stop all settlement activities in the West Bank and illegally annexed East al-Quds before negotiations can resume.
The Chinese official further called for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli issue through diplomatic channels on the basis of relevant UN resolutions so that a Palestinian state with full sovereignty will be established.
"China has been resolute in supporting the just cause of Palestinian people in regaining their legitimate national rights and supporting the establishment of a Palestine state with full sovereignty and independence. China appreciates Palestine for its adherence to the choice of peace and will continue to support the just cause of the Palestinian people," Wang concluded.
The PA is to ask UN member states to vote for the recognition of an independent Palestinian state in September.
A majority of member states are expected to back the bid as over 100 countries have so far recognized Palestine based on the 1967 borders.