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Protest calls for solidarity with the Palestinian people

Protest calls for solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Press Release: Wellington Palestine

For immediate use

• Friday 29th November is UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

• To mark this event Wellington Palestine are holding a rally outside the US Embassy from 5.30 till 6.30 pm.

• The organisers will call on the New Zealand Government to show solidarity with the Palestinian people by reaffirming the illegality of Israeli settlements and banning the import of Israeli settlement goods.

On Friday the 29th of November activists from Wellington Palestine will hold a rally outside the US Embassy in Wellington. The rally is being held in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to protest the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s, announcement regarding Washington’s shift in policy toward Israeli settlements, which declared them not “inconsistent with international law”.

Neil Ballantyne, of Wellington Palestine, said, “The US government can say whatever they like, but the fact remains that Israeli settlements are illegal and considered war crimes under international law.”

Israel has occupied the Palestinian territories since the six-day war in 1967. At over half a century long, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem is one of the longest military occupations in history. The Fourth Geneva convention forbids occupying powers from displacing civilian populations or from transferring part of their own civilian population into occupied territories. Yet today, over 600,000 Jewish Israeli settlers are living on occupied land and over 100,000 hectares of Palestinian land has been appropriated by Israel.

Military rule disrupts every aspect of daily life in occupied Palestine. Palestinians are denied the most basic of human rights that New Zealanders take for granted, including freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of speech. Through its so called “security measures” – including the separation wall and network of military checkpoints – Palestinian men, women and children are subject to daily humiliations and held captive in a system that is as oppressive as the former South African apartheid state.

In 2016, when New Zealand was doing its two-year stint on the UN Security Council, the New Zealand government played a leading role in sponsoring UN Resolution 2334. UN Resolution 2334 reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine and demanded they be dismantled. It also recognised that the settlements were a flagrant violation of international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

“In light of recent statements by the US administration, we call on the New Zealand government to reaffirm its commitment to the illegality of Israeli settlements”, said Ballantyne. “One practical step would be a complete ban on the import of Israeli settlement goods. If government seems unwilling to take resolute action, local authorities, churches and trade unions should lead the way by boycotting and divesting from Israeli companies and companies complicit in Israeli war crimes”. ENDS

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