The New Zealand Labour Party is urgently calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and Israel to put a halt to the appalling attacks and violence, so that a journey to a lasting peace can begin, Labour Leader Chris Hipkins said.
“Along with other New Zealanders we are appalled by the devastation and loss of life. We recognise the grief of communities in New Zealand who have connections with those in the conflict,” Chris Hipkins said.
“We are urgently calling for a ceasefire. Israel and Hamas need to immediately ensure the conditions for a ceasefire are met and to commit to a lasting peace in the region.
“All parties need to act in accordance with international law and protect civilians. While we recognise the right to self-defence, we are particularly concerned that the actions of the Israeli Defence Force are disproportionate and indiscriminate.
“We also urge Hamas to release all hostages immediately and without condition and to be part of the process to work towards peace.
“We remain very concerned about the humanitarian impact of the conflict and the blockade preventing essential services reaching people in Gaza. We are calling on Israel to allow movement of supplies and all parties to support the departure of those who choose to leave.
“Ultimately, we want to see a just and lasting peace that recognises the existence and self-determination of Israelis and Palestinians. We encourage the parties to work to a two-state solution within secure and recognised borders where all citizens enjoy equal rights and freedoms.
“I want to acknowledge that this is an unusual period for New Zealand. While we wait for a government to be formed, we will continue to uphold the caretaker convention and as Prime Minister I will work within what can be agreed with the incoming government.
“However I speak today as the Labour Leader. I, and the Labour Party, cannot stand by any longer in the face of the horrific scenes we are witnessing without calling for a ceasefire,” Chris Hipkins said.