PSNA is calling on the government to investigate reports that the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Gaza – which has 23 New Zealand graves from the First World War – has been damaged by Israel in its war on Gaza.
“The damage has also included an ancient Roman cemetery and the Commonwealth war cemetery, where more than 3,000 British and commonwealth soldiers are buried after dying in battles during the first and second world wars”
There are 23 graves of New Zealand soldiers in the cemetery.
Earlier reports show appalling and deliberate damage and bodies desecrated in at least 16 other cemeteries across Gaza and Canada reported damage to the war cemetery where Canadian soldiers lie alongside New Zealanders.
According to a CNN report:
Cemeteries are given protections as “civilian objects” under international law and are afforded special protections, with limited exceptions.
“Israel has always flouted international law and the desecration of cemeteries adds to the long list of its war crimes in Gaza” says PSNA National Chair John Minto.
“We are asking the government to investigate this report of damage to our soldiers’ graves as we continue to call on the government to speak out against other Israeli war crimes such as collective punishment of Palestinians and the credible risk of genocide in Gaza as ruled by the International Court of Justice”
The land for the cemetery was gifted by the people of Palestine.
We are not aware that any New Zealand politician has ever visited these graves in Gaza so perhaps the Prime Minister will turn his back on Israeli desecration of our history as he has on the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.