A Chinese envoy on Tuesday urged the international community to promote the resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, calling on all parties to exercise restraint.

The issue of Palestine is the root cause of the conflicts in the Middle East, and its resolution is crucial for achieving peace and development in the region, said Ma Zhaoxu, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council meeting.

However, the resumption of dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis showed no progress, while conflict escalation is a risk that cannot be ignored, because currently the violence in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is going on, Ma added.

The Security Council and international community should focus on the long term and strive for a political solution, and curbing violence with violence will not solve problems, said the Chinese ambassador, adding that China strongly opposes any act of violence against civilians, and all parties need to exercise restraint.

Ma called on all parties to lift the blockade on Gaza as soon as possible, saying China regrets Israel’s decision to close the schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in East Jerusalem. He also said the international community should increase funding for UNRWA and help Palestine improve its economy.

The two-state solution is the fundamental way to resolve the Palestine-Israel conflict, said the Chinese envoy, adding that the final status of Jerusalem is a complex and sensitive issue that concerns the basis for the future of the two-state solution.

Tuesday’s meeting is the Security Council’s quarterly open debate on the Middle East, which focused as usual on the Israel-Palestine issue. During a briefing to the council, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov warned that the possibility of establishing a viable Palestinian state has been systematically eroded.