- New Zealand is gravely concerned about the impact of this conflict on civilians. The loss of life is appalling.
- New Zealand has condemned, unequivocally, the terrorist attacks by Hamas on 7 October 2023.
- New Zealand calls on Hamas to locate and release all hostages immediately. Hamas must cease its attacks on Israel and cease all use of civilian infrastructure and its deplorable use of human shields.
- New Zealand has consistently supported the right of Israel to defend itself against Hamas’ terrorist attacks, but how Israel defends itself matters. Military objectives cannot be used to justify ‘any and all’ actions in this conflict. New Zealand has called repeatedly for all parties to act in accordance with international law.
- The Government’s strong focus is on the protection of civilians and the urgent need to stop the violence as soon as possible. In our public statements, New Zealand has called for a humanitarian truce, humanitarian pauses and the urgent need for further steps towards a sustainable ceasefire.
- New Zealand also believes the international community must make a concerted effort to help address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. That is why we have provided financial support to the humanitarian response and welcomed action taken by the United Nations (UN) Security Council and General Assembly calling for safe, unhindered, and expanded humanitarian access.
- Absent a permanent ceasefire or truce, urgent and adequate humanitarian support is the fastest way to help those caught up in the conflict. We will continue to call for food, water, fuel, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid to get to civilians in Gaza urgently.
- New Zealand continues to call on regional actors to do all they can to ensure that this conflict does not spill into the wider region.
Middle East Peace Process
New Zealand believes that a lasting solution to the current conflict cannot be achieved by military means. Action to revive the Middle East Peace Process is critical, and we continue to call on the parties to return to the negotiating table, urgently, in an effort to work towards a two-state solution. Support for a two-state solution has been New Zealand’s long-standing position as the best path for a durable and lasting peace in the region.
New Zealand’s established approach to the Middle East Peace Process includes:
- Support for a comprehensive and sustainable two-state solution, with secure and recognised borders for both Israel and Palestine (based on 1967 lines);
- Support for Israel’s right to exist in peace and security;
- Support for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination; and
- Recognition that direct negotiations between the parties are the only way to achieve a sustainable agreement, and a call for a return to such negotiations.
- New Zealand has announced three tranches of support to the humanitarian response, totalling NZ$15 million, to address urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel. This includes contributions of NZ$7.5 million to the World Food Programme (WFP); NZ$5 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); and $2.5 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
- You can read more about the work of the WFP, ICRC and UNICEF in response to the conflict on their websites:
- International Committee of the Red Cross: ICRC.org/en/Where-We-Work/Middle-East/Israel-and-Occupied-Territories(external link)
- World Food Programme: WFP.org/Emergencies/Palestine-Emergency(external link)
- United Nations Children’s Fund: unicef.org/emergencies/children-gaza-need-lifesaving-support(external link)
Information for New Zealanders in the region
- We strongly recommend that all New Zealanders in the region register on SafeTravel(external link).
- Those that need consular assistance should contact the New Zealand 24/7 Consular Emergency Line on +64 99 20 20 20.
- 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 recommend that 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.
- 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.
Statements and Press Releases
Travel bans on extremist Israeli settlers(external link) (29 February)
New Zealand welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza(external link) (1 December 2023)
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)
Official Information Act Responses
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade publishes selected responses to Official Information Act (OIA) requests soon after the Ministry has sent the response to the requestor. A number of recent Israel-Hamas related responses are available here:
- OIA 29012: South Africa v Israel - ICJ case
- OIA 28855: Planning for Assisted Departure Flights
- OIA 28941: New Zealand Statements at the United Nations
- OIA 28934: Advice on New Zealand Position calling for a ceasefire
- OIA 28902: Advice to elected officials on humanitarian support to the Israel-Hamas conflict
- OIA 28896: Advice to elected officials on New Zealand’s response to the Israel-Hamas conflict