55th session of the Human Rights Council Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner on the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

Delivered by Permanent Representative Lucy Duncan.

Mr President, High Commissioner

Thank you for your report and today’s update.

The conflict in Gaza has had an appalling human rights impact. We have seen almost 30,000 deaths, the displacement of nearly two million people and the large-scale deprivation of access to basic necessities.

According to the report, the scale and nature of damage inflicted on Gaza raises serious concerns about Israel’s compliance with international humanitarian law. Israel must respect its legal obligations as an occupying power.

We strongly urge Israel not to undertake an expanded offensive into Rafah, which would have devastating humanitarian and human rights consequences. The price of defeating Hamas cannot be the continued and increased suffering of Palestinian civilians.

New Zealand is also greatly concerned by the deterioration in the human rights situation in the West Bank during the reporting period.

We re-state our unequivocal condemnation of Hamas’ attacks, which involved clear violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses. We call again for the unconditional release of all hostages.

An immediate humanitarian ceasefire is urgently needed. All parties must abide by international law, including international human rights law. Combatting persistent impunity and ensuring accountability for human rights violations and abuses is vital.

All are critical steps on the path towards securing lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

Thank you.


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