Palestine solidarity group calls on NZ to end ‘blind eye’ policy over brutal Israeli occupation

Operation "Al Aqsa Flood" . . . the Palestinian armed group Hamas has launched the largest attack on Israel in years, infiltrating areas in the south of the country following a barrage of more than 2000 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Image: Al Jazeera screenshot/APR

Asia Pacific Report

The New Zealand government bears heavy responsibility for loss of life of Palestinians and Israelis in the latest fighting in Israel/Palestine and must revisit its policy, says the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) national chair John Minto.

“Whatever the eventual outcome of the Hamas attacks on Israel today [Saturday], the New Zealand government bears heavy responsibility for the loss of life of Palestinians and Israelis,” he said in a statement.

“Like other Western countries, New Zealand has failed to hold Israel to account for its multiple crimes, including war crimes, against the Palestinian people, day after day, year after year and decade after decade.

“We have ignored human rights reports of Israel’s apartheid policies. Our government has been looking the other way.”

Hamas launched a large-scale military operation “Al-Aqsa Flood” against Israel, describing it as in response to the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased settler violence.

The group running the besieged Gaza Strip (population 2.1 million) said it had fired thousands of rockets and sent fighters into Israel. Reports said at least 40 Israelis had been killed, 35 people taken captive and more than 750 had been wounded and taken to hospitals.

Palestinian sources said 160 people had been killed, mostly in Gaza Strip.

Repeated Israeli attacks
Minto described the Hamas attacks as “understandable”.

“Over recent months Western countries have turned a blind eye to the brutality of the Israeli army and settler groups engaging in repeated attacks on Palestinian towns and villages and the killing of civilians and children,” he said.

“The result is now playing out in more violence initiated by Israel’s brutal occupation — the longest military occupation in modern history. The occupation includes Israel’s 17-year-old blockade of the Gaza strip — the largest open-air prison in the world.”

Al Jazeera reports that almost 250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces so far this year.

“New Zealand must reassess its policy on the Middle East and demand Israel adopt a timetable to implement international law and United Nations resolutions.”

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is finished. Politically and otherwise,” declared Al Jazeera political analyst Marwan Bishara, who says Israel has never learnt from history of colonialism.

“His arrogance has finally caught with him. No matter how many Palestinians this corrupt opportunist kills before his final downfall, he will go down in utter humiliation.

“Israel gets a glimpse of the real future days after Netanyahu cavalierly showed us at the United Nations future maps of the new Middle East centered around Israel — with no Palestine existence.”

Israel launched air strikes on Gaza in retaliation in an operation called “Iron Swords”.

Al Jazeera political analyst Marwan Bishara
Al Jazeera political analyst Marwan Bishara . . . Israel has never learnt from the history of colonialism and the suffering of a third generation of Palestinians in the Gaza “open prison”. Image: Al Jazeera screenshot/APR
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