- New Zealand is deeply distressed by the escalating crisis and loss of human life in the Israel-Gaza conflict.
- From the outset, the caretaker government has consistently raised concerns about the impact of the conflict on civilians and has stressed the critical importance of all parties meeting their international legal obligations, including under international humanitarian law.
- The government’s strong focus has been on the protection of civilians and the urgent need to stop the violence as soon as possible. This has been expressed by the government through references to a humanitarian truce, humanitarian pauses and the urgent need for next steps towards a ceasefire. New Zealand regrets that the political conditions are not currently there for a ceasefire that would provide a platform for a longer term solution. We are encouraging all parties to do what is necessary to get to that point as soon as possible.
- New Zealand welcomed the UN Security Council resolution passed last week calling for urgent extended humanitarian pauses, and voted for the UN General Assembly resolution passed on 27 October calling for an urgent humanitarian truce. Absent a ceasefire or truce, humanitarian support is the fastest way to help those caught up in the conflict. We will continue to call on all parties to ensure that urgent humanitarian support is able to reach those in need. The government has contributed $10 million in humanitarian assistance to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Food Programme.
- New Zealand condemns unequivocally Hamas’ 7 October terrorist attacks on Israel. We welcome the agreement to release some of the hostages seized on 7 October, but reiterate our call that all remaining hostages are released immediately.
- New Zealand supports the right of Israel to defend itself against Hamas’ terrorist attacks. But military objectives cannot be used to justify ‘any and all’ actions in this conflict. Israel must abide by international law, exercise restraint, and prioritise the protection of civilians.
Information for New Zealanders in the region
- New Zealanders in the region are encouraged to register on SafeTravel(external link) for the most up-to-date information.
- We currently advise that New Zealanders avoid non-essential travel in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Higher levels (do not travel) apply to some regions, including Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank. See the SafeTravel news feature on the security situation(external link) and the Travel Advisory for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories(external link).
- We continue to strongly recommendthat New Zealanders who wish to leave Israel should do so now. The security situation remains highly volatile. Flight operations could be interrupted at any time. New Zealand’s assisted departure flights from Israel have ended, but commercial options remain available.
- Anyone that wants to leave Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories but can’t, should contact the New Zealand 24/7 Consular Emergency Line on +64 99 20 20 20.
- The ongoing conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories has the potential to impact the security situation throughout Lebanon. There are ongoing exchanges of mortar and artillery fire in South Lebanon on the border with Israel. Tensions are high and the security situation could deteriorate further with little warning. We now advise that New Zealanders do not travel to Lebanon. If you are currently in Lebanon, we encourage you to leave now via commercial options. See the Travel Advisory for Lebanon(external link).
- New Zealanders are advised against travelling to the region to join the conflict. The situation is obviously extremely dangerous and volatile. New Zealand’s ability to provide consular assistance to New Zealanders caught up in the conflict is very limited. The New Zealand Government may not be able to assist New Zealanders who are detained, injured or otherwise prevented from leaving areas of armed conflict in Israel and Gaza.
- New Zealand has announced a total contribution of NZ$10 million to the humanitarian response to address urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel. This includes contributions of $5 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and $5 million to the World Food Programme (WFP).
Statements and Press Releases
New Zealand calls for humanitarian pause in Gaza(external link) (25 October 2023)
Government to assist with departures from Tel Aviv(external link) (12 October 2023)