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Empty Plates Highlight Gaza Famine

Auckland, New Zealand – Tomorrow Sunday 31 March at 3 pm, protesters with empty plates will march from Aotea Square in a silent protest to raise awareness for the 2.2 million people in Gaza facing imminent famine.

The March calls for urgent government action to avert further suffering and starvation.

Generally, protesters are encouraged to bring along flags, banners and signs in support. “This time, we want to highlight and bring Aotearoa’s attention to the entirely preventable and man-made forced hunger of Gaza,” says PYA spokesperson, Minas Al-Ansari.

“Echoing the global community's silence, we will march silently holding empty plates.

“This is the 21st Century and people being forcibly starved is unacceptable and a War Crime.”

The demonstration calls on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters, to take proactive steps toward verifying the allegations made by Israel against UNRWA staff and to restore and increase the vital aid needed by innocent civilians.

Australia’s Ministry of Defence recently stated: “Only UNRWA has the infrastructure to receive and distribute aid on the scale needed right now in Gaza.” With Australia committing an increased $6 million in aid, New Zealand is called upon to ensure UNRWA can continue its critical humanitarian work in Gaza, by increasing our contribution.

Palestinians in Gaza have endured six months of plausible genocide, starvation, and being deprived of water, medicines and other essential supplies, such as heating energy.

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UN Secretary-General, Mr Guterres (Amman, 25/03) “The need is urgent for the removal of all obstacles to life-saving aid, for more access and more entry points” into Gaza.

Despite this, Palestinian Muslims continue to observe the holy month of Ramadan, attending evening prayer amongst the ruins of their mosques and breaking their fast with unsafe water and an empty plate.

“The Luxon government must do more to pressure Israel. Only with demonstrative leadership from the international community will Israel be compelled to act” said, Ms Al-Ansari.

Palestinian cultural and rights organisations, Palestinian Youth Aotearoa (PYA) and Palestinian Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) have been organising similar protests and demonstrations for years before the events of Oct 7th.

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