Palestinian Community In Aotearoa Media Statement
The Palestinian community in Aotearoa New Zealand strongly condemns the recent Israeli air raids on the besieged Gaza Strip, resulting in the loss of over 1537 innocent Palestinian civilians, including over 500 children - at the time of this statement release.
The Israeli Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, announced a “total siege” of the already besieged Gaza, including a ban on admission of water, food, electricity, and fuel. The collective punishment of all Palestinians in Gaza is a crime against humanity and must be halted immediately.
While preparing this media statement, Israel has called for over half the population of Gaza to evacuate their homes, there are already over 400,000 People in Gaza who have been forced to leave their homes due to the ongoing attack on Gaza.
The developing situation is a reaction to 75 years of dispossession of Palestinians (over 70% of Gaza’s residents are Palestinians who were expelled by Israel from other areas during the 1948 war), apartheid across the illegally occupied territories, and the 17 years of illegal inhumane besiege of Gaza
On May 11, 2022, Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was a dual Palestinian-American national, was killed by an Israeli sniper while covering an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp, and Israel has not been brought to justice for her murder. 7 Palestinian journalists have also been murdered by Israeli airstrikes in the current attack on Gaza.
Doctors Without Borders, (Medecins sans Frontieres, also known by its acronym MSF), said it had counted 16 medical personnel killed since Saturday, 18 ambulances destroyed and eight medical facilities partially or totally damaged..
This Israeli far right government led by supremacists PM Netanyahu, and Itamar Ben-Gvir, is committing ethnic cleansing, apartheid and genocide against native innocent civillian Palestinians on a daily basis.
There is no mention from our NZ government of the Palestinian rights to freedom, justice and self-determination. The dehumanization of Palestinians must cease immediately. Palestinian lives also matter.
The international community must insist that Israel, as an occupying force, adhere to international law. Israel has taken pleasure in their impunity for too long, and it is time for the world to hold it accountable.
Numerous UN resolutions have condemned Israel's violations of international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. Leading international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and Bet ‘Salem have also published reports of Israeli apartheid policies. It is incumbent upon the world to exert pressure on Israel to end its occupation, colonial expansion, and apartheid practices.
Earlier this year, Amnesty International published a report highlighting the West’s “double standards” on global human rights.
The situation in the occupied West Bank is equally serious. More than 750,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Since 2010, over 3,000 Israeli settler attacks have killed and injured hundreds of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank.
In Jerusalem, thousands of Israeli settlers continuously have been carrying out provocative tours of the Al Aqsa Mosque as well as growing harassment and intimidation against both Muslim and Christian Palestinians.
This is a humanitarian crisis that must come to an end. What’s happening is not a war, it’s a massacre. The time to mobilize the support for the Palestinian cause is now more than ever.
Restoring international legality, accountability and respect for humanity and dignity of all must prevail, including an end to Israel’s military occupation of Gaza and West Bank. There is no peace without justice.
The next New Zealand Government has a historical obligation to build on the work of Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand Murray McCully to bring peace and justice to Palestinians.