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Why is the two-state solution the best option for peace in the Middle East?

A girl leaves her home in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on May 6, 2024. | Xinhua Photo 

As the spillover effect of the Israel-Hamas conflict, which broke out on October 7th last year, looms larger in the Middle East now, it is imperative to reach a consensus to implement the two-state solution as the optimal choice for long-term peace in the region.

The Middle East has been fueled once again. The fire has engulfed the entire region following Hamas attack on Gaza on October 7th. According to the latest update, over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 79,000 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza up to this point.

Israel's forces have intensified their preparations for a ground operation in Rafah, a Palestinian city in southern Gaza. To make matters worse, the conflict's spillover effect looms larger in the region due to Iran's direct attack on Israel for the first time. 

People gather at the site of an Israeli airstrike in the Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, on May 14, 2024. | Palestinian News Agency Handout via Xinhua 

A week earlier, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution to give "favorable consideration" to full Palestinian membership, pressuring a response from the Security Council.

With China and 11 other countries voting in favor and two countries abstaining a month ago, the United Nations Security Council still failed to grant the State of Palestine full UN membership due to the veto cast by the United States — a move that impedes the implementation of the two-state solution. 

The two-state solution, aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, offered a glimmer of hope amid the relentless clashes in the Middle East. However, it failed to be effectively implemented due to intertwined factors of racism, colonialism, and Orientalism.

Currently, 140 UN member states have recognized Palestine, with the majority of these countries located in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Nine out of the 27 member states of the EU currently recognize the right of Palestinians to a state based on the 1967 borders. Spain took the lead among EU countries considering recognizing the state of Palestine on May 21, followed by Ireland, Malta, and Slovenia. However, as a political entity, the European Union does not recognize Palestine as a sovereign state.

Workers unload China-aided humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip from a plane at the Al-Arish airport in North Sinai province, Egypt, on April 19, 2024 | Xinhua Photo 

China's stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has always been clear - to seek peace based on the two-state solution. The Chinese foreign ministry noted on Monday that the country urges relevant countries not to create obstacles for Palestine's membership to the United Nations and not to continue against the international community, international justice, and human conscience.

Position Paper of the People's Republic of China on Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, released last year, underscores that the fundamental solution to the Palestinian issue lies in the implementation of the two-state solution, the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with full sovereignty based on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Furthermore, a broader, more authoritative, and effective international peace conference, led and organized by the UN, should be held as soon as possible to formulate a concrete timetable and road map for implementing the two-state solution and to facilitate a comprehensive, just, and lasting resolution to the question of Palestine. 

Author | Zhang Ruijun 

Editor | Steven, James

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