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Foreign Policy Group Calls On NZ Government To Urge Immediate Ceasefire In Gaza

A progressive foreign policy group is calling for the New Zealand government to condemn the siege of Gaza, and demand an immediate ceasefire to allow the establishment of a humanitarian aid corridor in the region.

As of Thursday, Israel’s complete siege on the Gaza Strip has cut off power, food, water, electricity and fuel to the region, as the death toll from Israeli air strikes climbs over 1,100. Thousands of Palestinians, journalists, and humanitarian workers have been targeted, injured and killed by Israeli air strikes.

Hospitals in Gaza are overwhelmed, as fuel supplies needed to run generators have been cut off, resulting in a power blackout across the region.

“We are horrified by the New Zealand government’s failure to demand an end to Israel’s genocidal campaign against Palestinians in Gaza. We call for the New Zealand government to urge an immediate ceasefire and the provision of healthcare and humanitarian assistance in Gaza,” stated Te Kuaka spokesperson, co-director Dr Arama Rata.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant justified the siege stating, “We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”

US President Joe Biden condemned Hamas as a ‘terrorist’ organisation, and affirmed “Israel’s right to defend itself”. Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta reiterated these statements.

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Member of Te Kuaka Max Harris adds: “There is a pressing danger right now that claims about Israel’s right to self-defence are being used as cover for profound violations of international law, and the destruction of families and communities in Gaza.”

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories Francesca Albanese has expressed deep concern about the situation, and about UK Labour leader Keir Starmer’s comments claiming Israel’s right to self-defence justifies the cutting off of electricity and supplies to Gaza. Ms Albanese has called the intentional starvation of civilians as part of a broader attack on civilians a “war crime and, potentially, a crime against humanity”.

Max Harris says: “New Zealand must set other countries’ sights on the need for a humanitarian aid corridor, and our political leaders must avoid reckless rhetoric that will pave the way for war crimes and further senseless loss of life.”

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