The Government needs to urgently and clearly state New Zealand's views on the violence in Israel and Gaza, the Green Party said today.
The Green Party's call comes after the latest round of Israeli air attacks on Gaza, which levelled the headquarters of Hamas and killed 15, including civilians. The death toll following Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli air strikes on Gaza stands at 40 Gazans and 3 Israelis.
"Foreign Minister Murray McCully needs to convey New Zealand's concern over the disproportionate military response Israel has mounted in response to provocation from Gaza," said Green Party global affairs spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.
"In our view such excessive force breaches international law and cannot be condoned.
"New Zealand should call upon Israel to act as a responsible and law-abiding global citizen, which would be a major step forward in the path to peace in the Middle East.
"New Zealand should urge a change in approach by the US, which has simply stressed Israel's right to self-defence while leaving Israel to determine its tactics to that end. It is time that the US acknowledged the imperative of applying an international law strategy for peace.
"New Zealand should also call upon Hamas to refrain from rocket attacks on Israel. Such actions comprise a senseless provocation, which Israel uses to devastate Gaza's infrastructure, and for which Palestinians pay dearly through their lives.
"It is time for Fatah and Hamas to make a renewed effort at a consensus over the future of Palestine.
"Their continuing divisions are blocking progress towards full statehood and an official role for Palestine in the Middle East," said Dr Graham.