Justice for Palestine welcomes the news that the new Minister of Foreign Affairs moved a motion, supported by all MPs, calling for urgent steps towards a ceasefire in Gaza. But urges the Government to do more to save lives in Gaza.
“The fact that both the unimaginable suffering of people in Gaza and international obligation to stop this human catastrophe in its tracks was debated and acted on in the first sitting day of this new Parliament is critical. This issue demands not just attention, but courageous moral and historical leadership to prevent a genocide.
“We’re disappointed the Government rejected the opposition’s amendment that NZ call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. So, while this is progress, and shows that the pressure we have all been putting on the Government is working, the Government still has a way to go. There is more the Government needs to do to put force behind its words, to meet its obligations under international law and stand up for Palestinian rights.” Samira Zaiton, Justice for Palestine spokesperson.
Justice for Palestine and Alternative Jewish Voices joint briefing to the incoming Minister of Foreign Affairs, handed over at a rally outside of parliament on Tuesday, called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire as the starting point. But the two human rights groups urged the Government to not only call for a ceasefire, but also to take other steps to bring the current violence to an end and establish a new pathway to a just and durable peace. This included calling for an end to Israel’s illegal occupation and the recognition of Palestinian statehood, as foundations for a peace process based on the right of Palestinians to self-determination.
“We were pleased to see Phil Twyford’s amendment to the motion, which acknowledged that the peace process must recognise Palestinian self-determination and called for the establishment of a free and independent Palestinian state, was accepted and passed by all MPs. These are important steps towards providing a political horizon, because we know that there is no military solution to this situation.” said Samira Zaiton.
Justice for Palestine also urges the Government to pursue other avenues to put pressure on Israel and its allies to end the current violence and to save lives in Gaza, including imposing sanctions on Israel, expelling the ambassador, and responding to the calls of New Zealand Palestinians for the Government to create a temporary visa for Palestinians in Gaza who have family here.