Statement on the escalation of violence in Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Gaza

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today expressed Aotearoa New Zealand’s grave concern at the escalation of violence in Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Gaza.

“The growing death toll and the large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli airstrikes and Gazan rockets is unacceptable,” Nanaia Mahuta said

“Senior officials met with the Israeli Ambassador yesterday. Officials underlined the concerning loss of life and strongly urged Israel to de-escalate to prevent the prospect of a widening conflict. They also raised their concern at the continued violation of international law and forced evictions occurring in East Jerusalem.

“The launching of rockets towards Israel by Hamas is unacceptable and must stop. At the same time any response from Israel should be restrained and must avoid civilian casualties. All sides have a responsibility to de-escalate, stop the violence and prevent further suffering and loss of life.

“Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist in any constructive way we can to support urgent de-escalation of the situation.” Nanaia Mahuta said.

ENDS