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Gaza Petition To Be Tabled In Parliament Today

The Government must condemn Israel’s actions in Gaza if we are to have a chance at peace.

A petition signed by more than 16,500 people, demanding the government take stronger action to halt the genocide of Palestinians by the State of Israel, is being presented to the House of Representatives today by Hon Phil Twyford.

In less than seven months, more than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza including 14,000 children. “This is many, many thousands more murdered since January when the International Court of Justice refused to throw out the case of genocide against Israel”, says Palestinian New Zealander and petitioner, Katrina Mitchell-Kouttab.

Mitchell-Kouttab welcomes some of the incremental statements made by the government since the petition was developed. These include the call for a ceasefire, acknowledgement that it is Palestinians who bear the brunt of Israel’s military action, that Israel cannot achieve peace while continuing to take Palestinian land and calling out the extremist violence of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. However, the lack of coherency and explicit condemnation is undermining the impact needed to save Palestinians lives.

“Our government must demonstrate that it remains committed to upholding the rules-based international order. This necessitates unequivocal condemnation of Israel’s ongoing brutality and disregard for international law. We must not be complicit in this genocide”, says Mitchell-Kouttab.

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“Condemnation of Hamas without an equivalent and unambiguous condemnation of Israel, is emboldening the state to continue its horror campaign of war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. Without strong repercussions such as sanctions, Israel knows that words will not change their well-stated path towards completely erasing Gaza and its people.”

“We have already seen Israel’s complete disregard for the global rules based order. But whereas the New Zealand Government was quick to condemn Iran, it has ignored Israeli war crimes. We expect strong support for forthcoming international arrest warrants against senior members of the Israeli Government.”

Mitchell-Kouttab also echoes the call of NGOs, charities, and academics for urgent humanitarian visas for those 300-400 Palestinians facing imminent death in Gaza who have family in New Zealand. The immigration Minister Erica Stanford, continues to stand against providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinians despite her urgent demands for a Ukrainian immigration policy. The previous government opened a special visa category to around 4000 Ukrainians, also providing them with work and education rights.

The petition: Genocide in Gaza: Call for New Zealand to live up to its international legal obligations | OurActionStation

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