Assault on Gaza should stop now

Green MP Keith Locke says New Zealand should call for an immediate end to the Israeli assault on Gaza.

“Forthright condemnation is the only appropriate response to Israel’s repeated air strikes on populated areas in Gaza,” said Mr Locke, Green Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson.

“There is no excuse for bombing civilian targets like universities, TV studios, mosques, government buildings and police stations.

“If terrorism is the killing and maiming of civilians, then this is terrorism on a massive scale.

“Yes, we should also oppose the firing of rockets into Israel, but they don’t justify Israel’s horrendous assault, which has killed more than 300 people and maimed several times more. “Israel’s collective punishment of the people of Gaza, and the targeting of civilian institutions, contravene Geneva Conventions, as pointed out by the UN General Assembly President, Miguel D’Escoto Brockman.

“Such actions are also defined as ‘war crimes’ in legislation governing the International Criminal Court, which New Zealand has signed up to.

“Peace won’t be advanced by playing down Israel’s criminal assault on Gaza by simply calling for ‘restraint’ or ‘an end to violence on both sides’.

“The bombing of Gaza must stop now. It is destroying not only the lives of many innocent people, but the trust necessary for successful negotiations between the leaders of Israel and Palestine, said Mr Locke.