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To: The New Zealand Government

Condemn Israeli aggression against peaceful Palestinian worshippers

Condemn Israeli aggression against peaceful Palestinian worshippers

We call on the New Zealand Government to condemn the recent Israeli aggression against peaceful Palestinian worshippers and protestors.

Why is this important?

According to international news sources, more than 300 Palestinians were detained on Easter Friday in Al-Aqsa Mosque in what rights groups say was the largest en masse arrest over the course of one hour and in one location in more than 20 years.(1) At least 158 Palestinians were injured in the ensuing violence. Most recently, Israel has prevented Palestinian Christians from entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to observe the Easter Vigil associated with the Christian Orthodox celebrations.(2) Tensions across the occupied territories continue to mount as the Israeli Occupation forces use violence against Palestinian Muslim and Christian worshippers and peaceful protestors.

Every thirty-three years Ramadan, Easter and Passover coincide. It is especially sad that the recent aggression by the Israeli Occupation forces has occurred at a time of religious festivity for all three of the world’s monotheistic religions. Israel’s aggression not only endangers civilians at a holy moment, it also violates the sanctity and meaning of all three holidays.

New Zealand has a strong record of supporting human rights including the freedom of thought, conscience and religion as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. New Zealand’s response to the March 15th Mosque attacks demonstrates its commitment to ensuring that religious communities should be able to observe their faith free of harassment and violence. We call on the New Zealand Rt Hon Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta to demonstrate their commitment to religious freedom by condemning the aggression of the Israeli Occupation forces against worshippers and peaceful protestors and extending the same concern the New Zealand government has expressed for Muslims in Aotearoa for Palestinians at worship.

New Zealand has consistently held a principled position on Palestine through the United Nations in keeping with international law. This includes New Zealand’s vote in 1974 in favour of issuing an invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO’s) chairman Yasser Arafat to address the UN General Assembly (UNGA). New Zealand’s principled stance can also be traced in its 2012 UNGA vote to upgrade the status of Palestine to non-member observer state. When it comes to Palestine, the New Zealand state and its people have historically maintained an even-handed, diplomatic, and consistent approach to the Israeli conflict.

We call on the New Zealand Government to maintain its strong principled stance in relation to Palestine and its commitment to Human Rights by condemning the recent Israeli violence.

References:
1. https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-palestine-aqsa-mosque-jerusalem-storm-raid-settlers
2. https://www.palestinechronicle.com/israel-limits-access-to-holy-sepulcher-church-for-holy-fire-ceremony-video/

This petition has been created by Palestinians in Aotearoa Coordinating Committee (PACC).

This petition has been signed by Alternative Jewish Voices (AJV).

Updates

2022-04-25 21:49:31 +1200

Over the weekend, Israel extended its aggression to Palestinian Christians who were prevented from entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to observe the Easter Vigil associated with the Christian Orthodox celebrations. Access to the Church was restricted heavily, and we saw on social media videos of assaults on worshippers behind barriers.

https://www.palestinechronicle.com/israel-limits-access-to-holy-sepulcher-church-for-holy-fire-ceremony-video/

Based on this news, we have now updated the petition to include both incidents, and to demand condemnation of Israel's violation of freedom to worship for both Muslims and Christians.

2022-04-23 20:20:42 +1200

500 signatures reached

2022-04-22 18:40:22 +1200

100 signatures reached

2022-04-22 14:54:29 +1200

50 signatures reached

2022-04-22 12:29:04 +1200

25 signatures reached

2022-04-22 11:42:35 +1200

10 signatures reached