China bans its construction crews from the West Bank over opposition to Israeli settlements

Spokesman Geng Shuang says Asian superpower values its relationship with Israel but considers buildings on occupied territory 'illegal' 

Tuesday 25 April 2017 10:58
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Houses under construction in the Israeli settlement of Efrat in the West Bank
Houses under construction in the Israeli settlement of Efrat in the West Bank

China is not allowing Chinese construction crews to work in the West Bank because it opposes Israeli settlements in what it considers occupied Palestinian territory.

Israel officials said Sunday they had signed a deal with China to bring Chinese construction crews to Israel. They would not address reports that the work would be restricted to only some areas.

A Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman confirmed the West Bank restrictions Monday.

Spokesman Geng Shuang says China values its relationship with Israel but “opposes the construction of Jewish settlements on Palestine's occupied territory.” Geng cited a UN Security Council resolution adopted in December declaring the settlements illegal.

The West Bank was captured by Israel in 1967. Palestinians claim it as part of a future state — a position with wide international backing.

Associated Press

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