Thursday, 23 May 2019
Monday, 03 March 2008
MEDIA  RELEASE  March 2 2008


The Palestine Human Rights Campaign abhors the escalation of attacks and ground incursions Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against Gaza in recent days. Today the attacks  killed 31 Palestinians; including 8 children. Among the civilian casualties are thirteen who were killed INSIDE their homes. In the past five days IOF killed over 100 people have been and approximately 150 injured. At least a third are children according to medical sources and most of the casualties are civilians.

IOF has killed 182 Palestinians in Gaza since January 1 2008.

Due to the siege and blockade of Gaza hospitals there face serious difficulties dealing with the casualties. They are suffering shortages in medicines and other medical materials and running out of fuel for electricity generators and ambulances.

Spokesperson for the PHRC Tuma Hazou (a Palestinian refugee ) makes the point that “Palestinian militants are forced to hit back against Israel because the latter has been indiscriminately killing civilians on a daily basis for months, indeed for years.”

He condemns IOF's conduct in Gaza and says “arbitrary attacks on residential areas and the targeting of civilian objects; including homes and medical teams, represent war crimes according to the provisions of international humanitarian law.” He adds

 “ indiscriminate, excessive use of force by the occupying forces, has killed and injured scores of civilians during the past four days”.

He reminds the NZ government that Hamas has repeatedly offered a ceasefire for months Israeli leaders have rejected these offers even though in a recent poll  64% of Israel’s citizens supported a ceasefire.

Palestinians living in New Zealand are horrified by the terror that their relations and friends are subjected to after 41 years under Israeli occupation and denial of their basic human rights. “It is worse than apartheid against which so many Kiwis battled  to overcome” he observes.

Tuma quotes prominent Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi who has said that Israel is guilty of double standards. "If you make security for Israel a precondition (for peace) while Israel has a free hand to kill and destroy and wreak havoc in Palestinian lives, you will never get anywhere," she said. "There has to be security for everybody."

The PHRC calls on the NZ government and the international community to uphold its moral and legal obligations and bring an end to Israel's crimes. The government should join with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in condemning Israel for using excessive force in Gaza and demand a halt to the offensive.