The Ultimate Ending to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Lies in a Two-State Solution

Wang Lian is a Professor at the School of International Studies at Peking University.

The current Israel-Hamas war is the latest manifestation of the Arab-Israeli conflict that erupted in 1948. For more than 70 years, the Palestinian people have been unable to establish their own independent state, and their sovereign rights are still difficult to achieve. This is the root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that has not been fundamentally resolved since the establishment of the State of Israel. The United States, the United Kingdom, and other Western countries should bear the burden of historical responsibility for this problem. The excessive military action taken by the Israeli authorities in the face of the deadly attacks launched by Hamas, especially those that affect ordinary civilians without limit, must be severely condemned and firmly rejected by the international community.

When Israel seeks to forcibly expel Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and replace the internationally recognized two-state solution with a one-state solution, it is pursuing a national security goal that cannot realistically be achieved.

China’s Permanent Representative Zhang Jun during a Security Council session on the situation in the Middle East

The only way out of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in a two-state solution, which represents international law, morality, and rests on international consensus. The eventual peaceful coexistence of the State of Israel and a future State of Palestine through political negotiations, rather than force, serves the long-term interests of both peoples and is an important cornerstone of achieving peace in the Middle East. Israel’s attempts to subdue Palestine by force will ultimately be futile and will not bring lasting peace to the region.


The Gaza Strip Becomes a “Death Zone”

In October 2023, the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a massive surprise attack on southern Israel. This was the single deadliest attack on Israelis in history. Israel’s subsequent declaration of war with the intent to destroy Hamas has further worsened an already dire situation in the Gaza Strip, where more than two million Palestinians had lived prior to the conflict. International efforts to negotiate a full humanitarian cease-fire have failed, as the number of casualties of war increased.

Israel’s military operations in response to Hamas’s attack have resulted in “colossal human suffering,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in January 2024. As of March 15th, 2024, Israel’s retaliation has killed 31,341 people and injured more than 73,134, destroying 65,000+ housing units and forcibly displacing 1.7 million people, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. More than 120 journalists and media workers have also been killed, as well as over 150 UN employees, the highest number of aid workers killed in any conflict in UN history.

Ajith Sunghay, the head of the UN Human Rights Office in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, made a weeklong field visit to Gaza in the end of January 2024, where he visited several camps for internally displaced persons and spoke to staff and human rights defenders. After his return, he told a reporter that, “There is no safe place in Gaza. Bombardments by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are relentless, in the north and in Khan Younis in the south. There is also a massive scarcity of food, water, medicines, tents, and other basic necessities.”

On December 21st, 2023, the New York Times reported that “The number of Gaza residents reported killed during Israel’s 10-week-old war in the territory has already surpassed the toll for any other Arab conflict with Israel in more than 40 years and perhaps any since Israel’s founding in 1948.” “Gaza has become a death zone,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization told correspondents at a press briefing in Geneva on February 24th, 2024. “Much of the territory has been destroyed. More than 29,000 people are dead; many more are missing, presumed dead; and many, many more are injured,” he added.

More than 70 percent of the 30,000+ casualties in Gaza were women and children, according to the media office of Hamas in late February. The humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip is now on an unprecedented scale. Hamas’s media office said on February 25th that the Israeli military operation has displaced nearly two million people in the Gaza Strip. On March 13th, 2024, the head of the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, wrote on the X platform, “Shocking! In just four months in Gaza, more children are presumed to have been killed than in four years in all of the world’s conflicts.” According to UN figures, 12,193 children have been killed in conflict worldwide between 2019 and 2022. He compared those figures to data reported by the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip Health Ministry, which reported that more than 12,300 children had died in the Palestinian territory from October 2023 until the end of February 2024. Mr. Lazzarini said, “This war is a war on children. This is the war that will destroy their childhood and their future.” Beth Bechdol, deputy Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, said on March 18th that 50 percent of the population in Gaza is in a catastrophic near-famine situation, which is the unprecedented equivalent of about 1.1 million people facing catastrophic food insecurity as a result of the Israeli-Gaza war. “Unless there is an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, many more will die in the coming days and weeks,” UN Women said recently. “The killing, bombing, and destruction of essential infrastructure in Gaza must stop. Humanitarian aid must get into and across Gaza immediately.”

According to AFP, “Before the war, Gaza was the largest open-air prison in the world. Today, it is the largest open cemetery in the world.” “This is a graveyard for tens of thousands of people and for many of the most important principles of humanitarian law,” the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Joseph Borrell said on March 18th at a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels.

In the face of such a severe humanitarian crisis, the Israeli authorities have not relented in allowing international aid workers and supplies to enter Gaza by land. So much so that the United States, under intense international pressure, was forced to airdrop humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. However, because the United States has consistently favored Israel in this round of conflict, it has been accused of “hypocrisy” and “showmanship.” Richard Gowan, the International Crisis Group’s UN Director, says airdrops are a good photo opportunity but a lousy way to deliver aid. He outlined that the only way to get enough aid was through aid convoys on the ground, which would follow a ceasefire. Dave Harden, a former regional director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said the U.S. airdrops were a “symbolic” and ineffective way to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip. The move was “symbolic and aimed at appeasing domestic voters.” What the United States should really do is press Israel to open more humanitarian corridors.

More than half a year has passed since the outbreak of this round of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip continues to worsen. Now, the largest “refuge” of the Gaza people Rafah is feared to be attacked by the Israeli army, and the two sides are in suspense about the ceasefire negotiations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on February 25th that even if Israel and Hamas reached an agreement on a ceasefire and the release of detainees, the Israeli army would eventually launch a ground offensive on Rafah. As the Israeli authorities are still actively preparing for war, the international community is worrying that the Israeli ground attack on Rafah would further aggravate civilian casualties and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

According to CNN, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said on February 29th that “there appears to be no bounds, no words, to capture the horrors that are unfolding before our eyes in Gaza.” What is happening in Gaza is “carnage” Turk said, speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. “It is time—well past time—for peace, investigation and accountability.”

So much so that in a public speech on March 3rd, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris also strongly accused Israel of not doing enough to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Reuters reported that, “People in Gaza are starving. The conditions are inhumane and our common humanity compels us to act,” Harris said in Alabama. “The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid. No excuses.” The Guardian also pointed out that Harris’s “comments reflected intense frustration within the U.S. government about the war, which has hurt President Joe Biden’s standing with left-leaning voters as he seeks re-election this year.” Echoing Harris, Senate majority leader and Democratic Senator Charles Schumer also publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with Netanyahu, and called on the Israeli people to hold new elections.

Faced with unprecedented pressure from the international community, it remains uncertain what military measures the Israeli authorities will take to ease the situation in Rafah and other places. Whether the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip can be fundamentally alleviated will depend on what the Israeli authorities do next.


Israel Wants “Absolute Security”

Israel’s aggressive regional policies over the past two decades have led to growing anger in the Palestinian territories, and even across the Arab world. As a result, Israel’s external security environment continues to improve on the surface, but becomes increasingly insecure in the long run and in real terms.

Israel’s security strategy, in a word, can be best summed up as a pursuit of absolute security. In practice, Israel not only actively conducts military defense, but also frequently resorts to force in disputes. Today, Israel has grown from a weak geopolitical party to an astoundingly strong one, eventually becoming a “superpower” in the Middle East.

In the new century, especially since the Arab Spring in 2011, Israel’s attitude on the Palestinian issue has become more rigid, and its political effort to implement a one-state solution has become apparent. The far-right government led by Netanyahu has repeatedly implemented policies that infringe on the rights and interests of the Palestinian people and has continuously expanded the construction of settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli leadership is hardening its stance when it comes to encroaching on Palestinian territory. While the hardline policy of “Israel first” enabled it to gain immediate benefits, it has also exacerbated its external security environment. More importantly, as a result of these actions, Israel’s international image is increasingly deteriorating.

Israel is an isolated island, not only in the Arab world, but also in the Islamic world as a whole. Because of their ethnic, religious, and cultural identity—as well as a host of other factors—Islamic countries generally unanimously sided with Arabs in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This has manifested in continued condemnations of Israel in international organizations such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the League of Arab States, and the support for the just struggle of the Palestinians in the international arena. The vast majority of developing countries, including those that have diplomatic relations with Israel, have also unequivocally supported the Arab side. They generally oppose Israel’s violation of international law, occupation of Palestinian Arab lands, and excessive use of force.

In the Israel-Hamas war, Israel’s unrestrained use of force has exacerbated its security situation and provoked widespread opposition and condemnation from the international community. Bolivia broke diplomatic ties with Israel, while Colombia, Chile, and Indonesia recalled their ambassadors from Israel. South Africa is taking Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing it of genocide in Gaza. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva also publicly condemned Israel’s genocide in Gaza, stressing that “the conflict in the Gaza Strip is not a war, but a genocide. It is not a war of soldiers against soldiers, it is a war of heavily armed soldiers against women and children.”

On March 4th, Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz recalled the country’s ambassador to the United Nations for trying to “remain silent” about a report accusing Hamas of sexual assaults. This move shows that the Israeli authorities have chosen to maintain their hardline stance in the face of huge opposition from the UN and the international public at large, even at the risk of turning themselves away from the international community.

As an old Chinese saying goes, “A just cause enjoys abundant support while an unjust one finds little.” Since the outbreak of the current round of conflict, the UN General Assembly has adopted several resolutions calling overwhelmingly for an immediate ceasefire to ensure the humanitarian relief work can proceed. However, despite the widespread expectations of the international community, the United States and Israeli authorities have continued to press ahead with military operations, resulting in a deepening humanitarian crisis.

“It is important to […] recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, in reference to the October 7th, 2023 Hamas operation. “Hostilities in Gaza and Israel have created appalling human suffering, physical destruction and collective trauma across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The international community has a responsibility to use all its influence to prevent further escalation and end this crisis.”

ABC News reported the UN’s highest court on February 26th wrapped up historic proceedings into the legality of Israel’s 57-year occupation of lands sought by Palestinians for a future state, with most voices at the hearing arguing against the Israeli government. Over the course of six days, the ICJ heard from an unprecedented number of countries, a majority of which argued that Israel was violating international law and called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. In late January 2024, the ICJ ordered Israel to do all it can to prevent death, destruction, and any acts of genocide in its military offensive in Gaza. As expected, Israel rejected accusations that its treatment of Palestinians amounts to apartheid and has accused UN bodies and international tribunals of bias.

Israel’s security strategy has also exposed its inherent shortcomings: it blindly adheres to the concept of military priority and security through strength, and pays too much attention to its own security. In so doing, it is ignoring the basic survival rights of the Palestinians, the ethnic and religious feelings of Arabs, and resorting to force at will, which has led to a vicious cycle of fighting violence with violence. This not only makes it difficult to achieve long-term peace and stability, but also gives the international community the impression of bullying the weak, which has been repeatedly condemned by the international public.

Security without military strength cannot be relied upon. On the other hand, security without political guarantees will not last. As legendary Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz once said, “War is never an isolated act […] war does not consist of a single short blow,” and “in war the result is never final.” “No major proposal required for war can be worked out in ignorance of political factors. It is of course well known that the only source of war is politics [. . .]  We maintain [. . .] that war is simply a continuation of political intercourse, with the addition of other means.”

With regard to the Arab-Israeli dispute, especially the Palestinian issue, the Israeli right-wing government insists on its hardline stance and threats of force, lacks the desire and motivation for a political settlement, and blindly pursues force and military strikes. In the context of globalization, Israel must keep up with the times if it is to achieve more comprehensive security and faster economic development. Israel needs to adjust its narrow security concept of unilaterally pursuing its so-called “absolute security,” establish the concept of common security, and guide the formulation and practice of its national security strategy with a more far-reaching strategic vision and superior political wisdom.

At present, Israel is in an awkward position, unable to advance or retreat. Its military operation has been going on for more than seven months, but it has not achieved its main stated goal of eliminating Hamas and freeing all Israeli detainees. On the former target, the Israeli military recently announced that it had killed 12,000 Hamas fighters. According to Israeli estimates, Hamas has about 25,000 fighters. On the latter target, Israel says more than 130 of its detainees remain unreleased. Xinhua reported that IDF Chief of Staff General Halevi told the media at a military base on March 17th that Israel is fighting on multiple fronts and there is “a long way to go” before achieving the goals set.

Since the outbreak of this round of conflict, the Israeli army has launched a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip from north to south, and the war has “burned” to the southernmost city of Rafah. Today, Rafah is the largest and last refuge for Gaza’s residents, about 1.4 million people, more than half of the Gaza Strip’s population, have fled the fighting there. The international community has strongly called on Israel to refrain from attacking Rafah in order to avoid causing large numbers of civilian casualties.

As early as June 27th, 2023, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun spoke at the United Nations public meeting on the question of Palestine in the Middle East, saying, “Palestine and Israel are neighbors that cannot be moved away. The pursuit of one’s own absolute security at the expense of the security of the other is logically untenable and impractical in reality. The international community must attach equal importance to the security concerns of Palestine and Israel, encourage the two sides to uphold the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, and achieve common security through dialogue and negotiation. The fundamental way out to quell the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and resolve the Palestinian issue lies in resuming peace talks and implementing the two-state solution. The international community must always prioritize the Palestinian issue on the international agenda and take practical steps to advance the two-state solution.” It is hoped that the Israeli authorities would respond to the universal demands of the international community, abandon its longstanding goal of “absolute security” and return to the right track of the two-state solution.


 America’s Repeated Vetoing of Ceasefire Resolutions

Since its independence, Israel has been the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, not only in the military sphere, but also on political issues. According to the Congressional Research Service, from 1946 to 2023, the United States provided Israel with about $260 billion in total aid, the vast majority of which was military aid. Israel is facing mounting pressure globally to halt the conflict, but its campaign in Gaza has retained the support of the United States, its key ally and largest supplier of military aid. The U.S. proposed a “temporary ceasefire” at the United Nations earlier in March 2024, but has vetoed calls for an immediate halt in the conflict.

The Security Council and the General Assembly have by now voted multiple times on resolutions calling for ceasefires in Gaza. On October 18th, 2023, the United States voted against 12 states to defeat the Security Council’s first resolution for a humanitarian pause. On October 27th, 120 of the 193 member states in the General Assembly voted in favor of a ceasefire. The UN Secretary-General invoked the rarely-used Article 99 to call for a ceasefire at the Security Council, which was once again vetoed by the United States. On December 12th, the General Assembly voted again, with 153 states in favor, 10 opposed, and 23 abstaining—the demand for a ceasefire representing the overwhelming majority of the world’s population. On December 22nd, the Security Council approved a resolution for more humanitarian aid to Gaza that fell short of a call for a ceasefire; the U.S. abstained from voting in favor. Efforts to secure a ceasefire in the UN continue. On February 20th, 2024, another Security Council meeting ended with an American veto—and a UK abstention—while Algeria’s resolution gained support from 13 out of the 15 members.

Because only the Security Council can authorize a halt to such a conflict, a single member state can determine when the UN can halt war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide. In fact, the United States has favored Israel in the Security Council more than once. According to Al Jazeera, over the past 50 years, the United States has used its veto power more than 80 times and vetoed more than 50 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel. On the one hand, U.S. President Joseph Biden claims to support the “two-state solution,” and on the other, he constantly reiterates his support for Israel and continues to seek emergency supplementary budget appropriations from Congress to strengthen Israel’s military capability. Such actions of the United States raise suspicions that it does not really want to solve the problem.

Looking at the situation from a Middle Eastern lens, the U.S.-Israeli relationship is one of mutual use and support. Israel needs the military and political support of the United States, while the latter needs Israel to act as a deterrent against countries like Iran, and hostile groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Domestically, Jews are one of the largest ethnic minorities in the United States. Their votes matter significantly, and so does their role of “financial backers” in any U.S. election. America thus needs to stand up for Israel.

Looking back at history, the United States has never been an objective and neutral mediator on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, but a spoiler who only takes sides with Israel. After the end of the Cold War, the United States has organized several peace talks on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, but because it always favors Israel, it has been unable to effectively resolve the differences between Palestine and Israel. After the outbreak of this round of conflict, the United States claimed to mediate a ceasefire between Palestine and Israel on the one hand. On the other, they continue to send arms to Israel and even make a show of airdropping aid. Not only will America’s actions fail to solve the problem, but they may even worsen it. As Harvard Professor Stephen Walt wrote in Foreign Policy shortly after the outbreak of the current conflict, “America is a root cause of Israel and Palestine’s latest war.”

As we all know, the long-term military assistance of the United States to Israel is an important cause of instability of the Holy Land. Because of the continued U.S. military assistance, the Israeli armed forces have become one of the most technologically advanced in the world. Data shows that since the outbreak of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on October 7th until the end of 2023, the United States provided tens of thousands of tons of military equipment to Israel by air and sea.

The European Modern Diplomacy outlet recently published an article criticizing the U.S. government’s continued supply of weapons and ammunition to Israel. The article said that the vast arsenal of bombs, artillery shells, and the like penetrate, dismember, kill, and embed in the soft flesh of the old men, women, and children left in Gaza.

No one can win such a war, and fighting violence with violence can only lead to more serious crises. At present, the international community is calling for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire between Israel and Palestine, respect for international humanitarian law, and the protection of civilians. The Security Council cannot remain inactive in the face of ongoing conflict and humanitarian disaster. The United States should take responsibility and stop treating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a tool of domestic partisanship. It should also stop unilaterally favoring Israel, and work with the international community to push for an end to the fighting. As a crucial third party to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the United States must effectively prevent Israel from launching a new military operation and take practical action to protect civilians in Gaza.


China’s Position and Actions

On October 13th, 2023, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the EU’s foreign and security policy chief Josep Borrell jointly met the press after co-chairing the China-EU High-Level Strategic Dialogue. When asked about the current Palestinian-Israeli situation, Wang Yi pointed out that Palestine is now in a critical situation. The ongoing conflict has caused heavy civilian casualties. The humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating. China condemns all acts that harm civilians and opposes any violation of international law.

Minister Wang pointed out that the question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East issue and a wound that keeps being torn open. The root cause of this question lies in the long delay in realizing the dream of an independent State of Palestine and the failure to redress the historical injustice suffered by the Palestinian people. Israel has the right to statehood, and so does Palestine. The answer to the question is a two-state solution and an independent State of Palestine. This is how Palestine and Israel could coexist in peace and how Arabs and Jews could live in harmony. Only when a two-state solution is fully implemented can the Middle East truly enjoy peace and Israel enjoy lasting security. The right way to advance the two-state solution is to resume peace talks as soon as possible.

In the meantime, China calls for a more authoritative, influential, and broad-based international peace conference to be held under the auspices of the UN to build international consensus for peace and work for a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the question of Palestine at an early date.

Wang Yi stressed that on the question of Palestine, China will continue to stand on the side of peace, justice, international law, shared aspirations of the majority of countries in the world, and human conscience.

In November 2023, as the rotating presidency of the Security Council, China and Arab countries united to push the Security Council to adopt its first resolution since the outbreak of the conflict. China’s President Xi Jinping attended the special video summit of BRICS leaders on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, stressing an immediate ceasefire, the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Wang Yi had in-depth discussions with dignitaries and leaders from more than 20 countries and international organizations, including a joint delegation of foreign ministers from Arab and Islamic countries, who made China their first stop for international mediation, demonstrating their high trust in China. In addition, Wang Yi chaired the high-level meeting of the Security Council on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. The Special Envoy of the Chinese Government on the Middle East issue has visited many countries in the region and done extensive work for various parties. China has also provided several batches of emergency humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, including cash, food, and medicine, to ease the humanitarian situation in the Strip.

China believes that the pressing task now is to earnestly implement the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly and immediately end the fighting. China opposes the forced transfer and relocation of the Palestinian people. Israel should stop its collective punishment of the people of Gaza and open humanitarian corridors as soon as possible to prevent a wider humanitarian disaster. China believes that the fundamental reason for the deterioration of the Palestinian-Israeli situation is that the Palestinian people’s rights to statehood, existence and return have been ignored for a long time. China calls for supporting the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights and establishing an independent State of Palestine with full sovereignty.

China believes that the only way out of the recurring Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to implement the two-state solution. China supports all efforts conducive to a peaceful resolution of the crisis. China will implement its Global Security Initiative, take a constructive part in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and other pressing global and regional issues, and continue to strengthen coordination and cooperation with all relevant parties. This especially pertains to Arab countries, as this coordination will be critical to promoting a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Palestinian issue and safeguarding regional and world peace and development.

When it held the rotating presidency of the Security Council in November 2023, China submitted its Position Paper on the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, calling for a specific timetable and road map for a two-state solution. In recent years, China has put forward its Global Security Initiative, a five-point plan for achieving security and stability in the Middle East, and a three-point approach for implementing the two-state solution of the Palestinian issue. The proposed initiative aims to encourage the region’s countries to work together and seek strength through dialogue and consultation.

In 2014, President Xi first put forward a new concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, which has won widespread response and recognition from the international community. The core content of this security concept is to uphold common security and respect and guarantee the security of every country. China will maintain security in both traditional and non-traditional fields and promote security governance in a coordinated manner. Security should be achieved through political dialogue, peace negotiations, and cooperation.

China believes that only security based on moral principles and correct ideas can have a solid foundation and truly lasting security. The purposes and principles of the UN Charter contain the profound reflection of the world on the bitter lessons learned from the two world wars and embody the institutional design for mankind to achieve collective security and lasting peace. The various confrontations and injustices occurring in the world today are not due to the “outdated” nature of the UN Charter, but because its principles have not been effectively upheld and implemented. China calls for joint efforts to practice genuine multilateralism, firmly uphold the international system with the UN at its core, the international order based on international law, the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and safeguard the authority of the UN and its role as the main platform for global security governance.

China maintains that mankind is an indivisible security community, that one country’s security should not be at the expense of others, and that the security interests of all countries are equal. In seeking its own security, any state should take into account the legitimate security concerns of other states and peoples, including, of course, the Palestinian people. China stands for upholding the principle of indivisibility of security and promoting the building of a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture so as to achieve universal and common security.

War is not the fundamental way to resolve disputes. Dialogue and consultation are the only effective way to resolve differences. China supports the political settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and other hot issues through dialogue and negotiation. China maintains that the international community should take practical steps to promote the two-state solution to the Palestinian issue, convene a larger, more authoritative, and more influential international peace conference, and work for an early and just settlement of the Palestinian issue.

The UN Security Council held an open meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli issue on February 22nd, 2024. Zhang Jun, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN, stressed at the meeting that the core of the Security Council’s action on the Palestinian-Israeli issue must be an immediate ceasefire. Zhang Jun said, “It has been more than four months since the Gaza conflict broke out. It is the Council’s responsibility to apply the brakes before an even greater catastrophe occurs. The military offensive against Rafah must cease immediately, adequate and unhindered humanitarian access to Gaza must be ensured. Efforts must be made to prevent spillover of the conflict, and the political prospects for a two-state solution must be revived.” Zhang Jun stressed that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state is not a “gift” from anyone, but the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people. Some Israeli politicians have recently publicly rejected the two-state solution and any international efforts to achieve an independent State of Palestine. China is gravely concerned about this. The two-state solution is the bottom line of international justice and the only viable way out of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. China urges Israel to immediately stop eroding the foundation of the two-state solution, stop forced transfers of Palestinian people, and stop searches, arrests, and attacks in the West Bank. The historical injustice suffered by Palestine must be rectified, and the long-cherished aspiration of an independent Palestinian state must be realized. China proposes to hold a larger, broader, and more effective international peace conference to work out a timetable and road map for the implementation of the two-state solution as soon as possible. China supports Palestine in becoming a full member state of the United Nations.

According to the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, on March 14th, 2024, Chinese Ambassador Wang Kejian visited Israel and met with Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director of the Center for Policy Studies Feinmesser and Acting Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of Asia-Pacific Affairs Shagari, exchanging views on China-Israel relations and the conflict in Gaza. Wang Kejian said that the conflict in Gaza has caused heavy casualties and property losses to both Palestine and Israel. The top priority is a comprehensive ceasefire, humanitarian assistance, effective protection of civilians, the political settlement of the Palestinian issue on the basis of the two-state solution, and the peaceful coexistence of Israel and Palestine. On March 17th, Ambassador Wang met with Hamas Political Bureau Chairman Ismail Haniyeh during his visit to Qatar, exchanging views on the Gaza conflict and other issues. This is China’s latest effort to end the Israel-Hamas conflict and start new peace talks as soon as possible. It is also the first time since the outbreak of the conflict that a senior Chinese diplomat has shuttled between Israel and Hamas. One can only hope that both sides can have a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding of China’s principled position and policy propositions on the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict and that the people in Gaza can end their forced displacement as soon as possible.

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