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PHRC Welcomes PM’s Statement On ME Conflict

MEDIA RELEASE July 25,2006

The Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) Welcomes PM’s Statement On Middle East Conflict.

The Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) welcomes Prime Minister Helen Clark’s statement delivered to the UN Security Council at the weekend regarding New Zealand’s position on the conflict in the Middle East.

Tuma Hazou, spokesperson for the PHRC and refugee from former Palestine, is gratified that New Zealand is identifying with the 43 countries that addressed the Security Council, calling on all sides to observe international law. He agrees that “Israel’s attacks on the Occupied Palestinian Territories and on Lebanon, targeting militants and infrastructure, have also destroyed housing and caused hundreds of casualties, most of them of civilians. It is causing further suffering through the denial of the basic necessities of life and forced displacement affecting hundreds of thousands of people in Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and the establishment of racially exclusive settlements on occupied land are gross violations of international law and the Geneva Conventions. Israel’s defiance of the World Court ruling on the illegality of the so-called separation wall it is building on Palestinian land, a wall that is bringing untold suffering to the occupied people, another means of annexing Palestinian land and also threatens international peace and stability.

“The victims of this injustice have a right to expect the world community to intervene in support of international law, and Western powers appeals to Israel for restraint will continue to be ineffectual until the world community demands it and is willing to show a determination to enforce it” said Tuma Hazou.

New Zealand should join with the majority of the world’s nations in persuading those states outside the region that excuse and condone Israel’s behaviour, to change their policy.

The PHRC believes that the key to peace in the Middle East is the observance of international law by all states, supported by a determined effort to demand and enforce such observance.

The PHRC also applauded the decision of Helen Clark’s Labor-led Government
to raise its annual allocation to UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from $300,000 to $1 million from the 2006-07 financial year.

ENDS

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