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Former Shortland Street Actor Will Alexander Goes On Hunger Strike Over NZ Government’s Complicity In Gaza Genocide

19 May 2024

When an Israeli tank hit 6-year old Hind’s car, she witnessed her family die in front of her. She managed to call the Red Crescent, which sent an ambulance. The Israeli forces then attacked the ambulance, killing everyone inside. Hind, the little Palestinian girl, was found dead two weeks later in the car surrounded by the decomposing bodies of her family members.

Hind was one of over 14,000 Palestinian children killed by Israel so far, not including those still buried under the rubble.

This story has moved Will Alexander, a former Shortland Street actor, to take action. At yesterday’s Christchurch rally in support of Palestine, he started his hunger strike and vowed to continue until the government stops supporting Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Will Alexander. Photo/Supplied

“I can no longer stand by while my own government is complicit in an on-going genocide committed by Israel against the Palestinian people. Innocent children are being killed in the

thousands. Israel has violated international law for decades with full impunity granted by Western governments like New Zealand.”

Will has three demands for the NZ government:

  • Withdraw NZ troops from the Red Sea.
  • Stop NZ company Rakon from supplying components for weapons used by Israel. 
  • Resume and then double humanitarian funding for UNRWA.
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New Zealand troops have been deployed to the Red Sea to support its ally, the United States of America, in bombing Yemen for disrupting commercial shipments linked to Israel.

“It doesn’t matter whether our troops are cleaning latrines or pressing the button. Their presence there means that New Zealand is actively supporting the bombing of Yemen just to keep weapons flowing into Israel” said Alexander.

“Rakon is a multinational company with headquarters in Auckland that manufactures components used in bombs and missiles that are ultimately killing Palestinian children. It is a disgrace and something I think all New Zealanders would be against if they knew about it” said Alexander.

“Israel has rained down some of the most advanced weaponry on 2.3 million captive civilians for 7 long months. And not only is New Zealand supporting Israel in doing this, but we have also suspended humanitarian funding to UNRWA despite a famine caused by Israel’s months long siege on Gaza. We shouldn’t be pausing funding - we should be doubling it”, said Alexander.

NZ suspended funding to UNRWA in January when Israel made baseless allegations against the agency. Most donor countries have resumed funding since an independent report for the UN found no evidence for Israel’s allegations. UNRWA is one of the largest humanitarian organisations supporting Palestine through the Israel occupation. UNRWA also provides education and health care to Palestinian refugees in multiple countries in the Middle East.

Famine is one of the weapons of genocide being used against the Palestinian people by Israel. Only UNRWA has the skills, the capacity and the personnel to deliver the massive humanitarian aid needed for 2.3 million Palestinians across Gaza - funding other groups will not be effective in ending the famine.

“Christopher Luxon is choosing to send support for more bombs while freezing aid for starving Palestinians. It’s a disgrace”, said Alexander.

Israel is standing trial at the International Court of Justice, which found it is “plausible” that Israel has committed acts that violate the Genocide Convention. Under the Genocide Convention, to which New Zealand is a signatory, New Zealand has an obligation to prevent genocide.

Will Alexander is part of the Palestinian Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA).

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