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Thursday, July 31

Govt must condemn Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza


The New Zealand Government must condemn Israel for its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that continues to inflict massive civilian casualties, the Green Party said today.

At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp was hit by five shells during a night of relentless bombardment across Gaza.

 United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday.

“The New Zealand Government needs to also strongly consider all diplomatic options, including expelling the Israeli ambassador, to send Israel the message that the world does not support its military actions in Gaza,” Green Party global affairs spokesperson, Kennedy Graham said today.

“Israel claims it is acting in self-defence.  We understand that the Israel-Palestine situation is highly complex and that Israel has certain rights as a UN member state, but its bombardment of Gaza in the past few weeks violates the laws of humanity and has to stop.

“The latest shelling of an United Nations school, whose co-ordinates had been sent to the Israeli military by the United Nations, is nothing short of an international crime.

“I am meeting with the ambassador of Israel, Yosef Livne, this Friday to convey the views of the Green Party of this country.

“The ambassador needs to understand that Israel’s current actions are making it a pariah state,” said Dr Graham.