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Mr. Wang Yingfan Statement by Ambassador Wang Yingfan, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East

2002/04/03

Since the Security Council adopted resolution 1402 (2002) on 30 March, the conflict between Israel and Palestine has continued to escalate. Instead of improving, the situation has deteriorated further. In particular, the economic and social life of the Palestinian people has been seriously disrupted, and the humanitarian situation is in deep crisis. We express our serious concern and worry over these developments.

A resolution to the question of the Middle East can only be based on the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the principle of land for peace. Resorting to military occupation and violence will not bring peace to either side; rather, it will make the road to peace more difficult.

The deterioration of the situation in the Middle East in recent days has proven once again that Israel's approach of achieving security through military high-handedness will go nowhere. It must be pointed out that Israel's continued siege of President Arafat and its threat to force him into exile are very dangerous. Should President Arafat be harmed, the consequences would be extremely grave.

We oppose and condemn Israel's invasion of Palestine, and we call upon Israel to immediately implement resolutions 1397 (2002) and 1402 (2002), to unconditionally withdraw all its troops from Palestine, to guarantee the personal safety of President Arafat, and to lift the blockade and the relevant restrictions on the Palestinian sides so as to create the necessary conditions for the Palestinian side to be able to stop the extreme and violent activities by a handful of people and to make possible a ceasefire between the two sides.

At the same time, we also condemn the violent activities targeting innocent civilians in Israel. We call for an early end to the vicious cycle of countering violence with violence, so as to prevent extreme and violent activities by a handful of people from disrupting the early restoration of all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

In the current situation, the United Nations, and the Security Council in particular, should play a more active and effective role to avoid the evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into an all-out confrontation and to prevent the situation from sliding into an irreparable state. Yesterday, the Council held separate meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian sides. We hope the two sides will take practical steps to immediately stop all violent activities. All peace-loving countries should work together to stop the deterioration of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to promote the momentum for peace in the Middle East.

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