Establishing Humanitarian Corridors and Safe Areas
International Community Joins the Call for Peace
In a pivotal address to the United Nations Security Council, New Zealand has added its voice to the international community’s plea for a humanitarian pause in Gaza. This call is coupled with an urgent demand for the establishment of humanitarian corridors and safe areas to shield innocent civilians residing in the conflict-ridden Gaza Strip.
Upholding International Law and Humanity
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins made it clear that New Zealand is urging all parties involved in the conflict to adhere to international law and demonstrate basic humanity. Providing essential support to the innocent civilians living in Gaza, including necessities such as food, water, fuel, and shelter, is not merely a moral duty but also a legal obligation under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The Urgent Need for Humanitarian Assistance
Furthermore, Hipkins emphasized that there must be an immediate commitment to a humanitarian pause in the ongoing hostilities. New Zealand implores Israel and Egypt to seize this opportunity to swiftly facilitate unimpeded humanitarian aid to Gaza’s civilians who have been suffering immensely.
“The volume of aid arriving in Gaza must significantly increase above recent levels to ensure the basics of life can be maintained for the millions living in Gaza, who have nowhere to go,”
Prime Minister Hipkins stressed.
Establishing Humanitarian Corridors and Safe Zones
A critical aspect of New Zealand’s call is the urgent need to establish humanitarian corridors, enabling a steady flow of aid into Gaza. Additionally, designated safe areas, strictly off limits as military targets, must be established to provide a refuge for innocent civilians left with nowhere to escape the conflict.
A Plea for Humanity and Peace
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta echoed these sentiments, expressing New Zealand’s dismay at the brutality exhibited by Hamas, including the targeting of civilians and taking of hostages, which are clear violations of international law. Mahuta called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.
“It’s intolerable to see civilians continue to suffer disproportionately as innocent victims of this conflict,” Mahuta said.
While New Zealand supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’s terrorist attacks, it emphasizes that the means used to do so must abide by international law, prioritize the protection of civilians, and exercise restraint.
Mahuta also underlined the futility of a military solution and urged all parties and the international community to take urgent action to restart the Middle East Peace Process, seen as the most viable path to ensure enduring peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.