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NZ Calls For End To Middle East Violence

Foreign Affairs Minister, Phil Goff has urged both sides to the Middle East conflict to implement immediately the key recommendations of the Mitchell Commission Report.

The Report recommendations include an immediate cease-fire, a freeze on Jewish settlement construction, resumption of joint security cooperation and negotiations to resolve underlying causes of the conflict.

“The alternative is the continuing escalation of last weekend’s violence when a suicide bombing was followed by Israeli air strikes.

“Both actions resulted in the deaths and suffering of innocent people, and the further entrenchment of mutual bitterness and hatred.

“Neither action achieved any positive result. The Palestinians are no closer to their need for economic and social advancement and a Palestinian homeland. The Israelis are further away than ever from the hope of peace and security.

“The violence has got to stop. It can never lead to a sustainable solution. Israel must cease the disproportionate military response it is taking which has seen the killing of 441 Palestinians over the last 8 months. It must also cease the establishment of settlements on land to which it has no right. The Palestinians for their part must renounce terrorism and prevent firing on Israeli soldiers and civilians.

“The Mitchell Report offers a path forward. Both sides must commit themselves to seizing this opportunity to end senseless violence which achieving nothing”, Mr Goff said.

ENDS


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