China seriously concerned over violent clashes in Gaza: FM

BEIJING – China is seriously concerned about the violent clashes in the Gaza Strip and has called on both Israel and Palestine to exercise restraint, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered in eastern Gaza Strip close to the border with Israel on Monday to protest against the United States relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. At least 61 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,000 injured in violent clashes with Israeli forces.

Spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing that China is seriously concerned about the confrontations that caused mass casualties and opposes violent action targeting civilians, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

“We have called on both Israel and Palestine, especially the Israeli side, to keep restraint to avoid further escalation of tensions,” Lu said.

The issue of Jerusalem’s status and ownership is highly complicated and sensitive, Lu said. “The Chinese side holds that in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, peace talks between Palestine and Israel should be resumed as soon as possible and the final status of Jerusalem should be settled through dialogues.”

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China supports the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights, and supports the establishment of a fully sovereign, independent State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, he said.

China stands ready to work with relevant parties of the international community to make contributions to the final proper settlement of the Palestine issue.