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Palestine Group Says NZ Government Wrong

Palestine Group Says NZ Government Wrong On Protest

The Auckland Palestine Human Rights Campaign says New Zealand’s call for calm in Gaza is both factually wrong and fails to identify the root cause of the conflict.

The Auckland PHRC is to write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters to object to the text of a statement read to a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The New Zealand statement condemned the ‘loss of innocent lives on both sides’ as well as calling on the Hamas government to reinstate the ceasefire that it had held until Israeli assassination squads killed a Palestinian leader and Israeli shelling killed a family on a Gaza beach.

PHRC spokesperson Tuma Hazou says the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs has got its facts wrong.

“There have been no Israeli civilian casualties. While one Israeli invading soldier has been killed by Palestinians acting in self-defence, the sole civilian casualties have been on the Gaza side. Over 20 have been killed to today. While it is understandable that our Ministry has been hoodwinked by Israeli hysteria over a few retaliatory but ill-directed home made rockets, the great majority of the firepower is from Israel.”

Targeting of civilian infrastructure in Gaza, such as electricity supplies, shows Israel is simply trying to intimidate the entire 1.4 million population in Gaza. “Ever since Hamas won the election, Israel has been trying to starve the people into reversing the election. Now it is trying to bomb them into submission as well. That sounds like terrorism to me.”

Hazou conceded that New Zealand’s expressed concern about the Israeli kidnapping of Hamas government ministers by Israel was what New Zealand should be saying.

However Tuma says that New Zealand was totally silent on the root cause of the violence.

“The violence is quite simply because Israel is continuing to take Palestinian land for its settlements. This is in violation of international law, and the Roadmap for Peace. Palestinians will continue to resist this theft of their land and the Israelis will then escalate their response to discredit the Palestinians.”

“Like Switzerland, New Zealand’s voice should be heard calling for international law and Geneva Conventions to be upheld. Treating the occupier and the occupied as equal parties to this conflict cannot resolve this humanitarian crisis and will further perpetuate the misery” Tuma concluded.


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