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To: Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon

Hunger Strike for Gaza: Fund UNRWA Now!

Will is standing on a platform holding a microphone addressing a Palestine rally
We request the Aotearoa New Zealand government: 

-       Resume and at least double humanitarian funding for UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency), and announce this immediately.

-       Investigate claims that New Zealand company Rakon may have made components used in weapons used by Israel, and take all necessary steps to assure itself that no New Zealand companies can in future export any components that could end up in weapons used against civilians. Suspend exports of these components until the investigation is complete.

-       Withdraw NZ troops from the Red Sea.

The New Zealand government is complicit in the genocide in Gaza. We must take these tangible steps to oppose Israel’s actions and stand with the Palestinian people.

Why is this important?

Most of us believe that every person, no matter our religion, where we come from, or what we look like, deserves to live with freedom, safety and belonging. We want all children to grow up surrounded by joy, laughter and opportunities. But for people in Gaza their days are full of starvation, death and desperation. 

When an Israeli tank hit 6-year-old Hind’s car, her family died in front of her. She managed to call the Red Crescent, which sent an ambulance. The Israeli forces then attacked the ambulance, killing everyone inside. Hind, the little Palestinian girl, was found dead two weeks later in the car surrounded by the decomposing bodies of her family members.
Hind was one of over 14,000 Palestinian children killed by Israel so far, not including those still buried under rubble.

Israel is standing trial at the International Court of Justice, which found it is “plausible” that Israel has committed acts that violate the Genocide Convention. Under the Genocide Convention, to which New Zealand is a signatory, New Zealand has an obligation to prevent genocide. But we are yet to take any action of substance to preserve the lives of the thousands of innocent Palestinians being killed by Israel.

The ICC Prosecutor is recommending arrest warrants be issued for Israeli leaders, saying:

On the basis of evidence collected and examined by my Office, I have reasonable grounds to believe that Benjamin NETANYAHU, the Prime Minister of Israel, and Yoav GALLANT, the Minister of Defence of Israel, bear criminal responsibility for  the following war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the State of Palestine (in the Gaza strip) from at least 8 October 2023:
·         Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare as a war crime contrary to article 8(2)(b)(xxv) of the Statute;
·         Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health contrary to article 8(2)(a)(iii), or cruel treatment as a war crime contrary to article 8(2)(c)(i);
·         Wilful killing contrary to article 8(2)(a)(i), or Murder as a war crime contrary to article 8(2)(c)(i);
·         Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population as a war crime contrary to articles 8(2)(b)(i), or 8(2)(e)(i)...;
·         Extermination and/or murder contrary to articles 7(1)(b) and 7(1)(a), including in the context of deaths caused by starvation, as a crime against humanity;
·         Persecution as a crime against humanity contrary to article 7(1)(h);

We can no longer stand by while our own government is complicit in an on-going genocide by Israel against the Palestinian people. Innocent children are being killed in the thousands. Israel has violated international law for decades with full impunity granted by Western governments like New Zealand.

Israel has rained down some of the most advanced weaponry on 2.3 million captive civilians for 7 long months. Meanwhile, Minister Winston Peters has made no public commitment to delivering this year’s instalment of humanitarian funding to UNRWA despite a famine caused by Israel’s months long siege on Gaza. There is no time to waste in sending funding - and we should double it, at the very least.

Famine is one of the weapons of genocide being used against the Palestinian people by Israel. Only UNRWA has the skills, the capacity and the personnel to deliver the massive humanitarian aid needed for 2.3 million Palestinians across Gaza - funding other groups will not be effective in ending the famine.

Not only has New Zealand’s aid response been inadequate, there is also a possible connection between a New Zealand company and the weapons being used by Israel. 
In April 2024, PSNA raised concerns with Minister Peters that New Zealand company Rakon may have supplied crystal oscillators to the US military which incorporated them into weapons (J-DAMs) they supplied to Israel (1). 

In December 2023, Amnesty International reported that US-made J-DAMs were used by the Israeli military in two deadly, unlawful air strikes in Gaza (2). In May 2024, the US initiated a review of its J-DAM shipments to Israel, amid concerns that Israel may have used US-weapons in breach of international law (3).

The New Zealand government has an obligation to investigate whether Rakon’s components could have been in these weapons used to breach international law in Gaza. Given the risk of complicity in serious breaches of international law, pending this investigation, the New Zealand government should also suspend exports of any components to the US military that may end up used by Israel. 

New Zealand troops have been deployed to the Red Sea to support its ally, the United States of America in their activities in Yemen. Yemen is disrupting commercial shipments linked to Israel in an attempt to stop the genocide in Gaza.

It doesn’t matter whether our troops are cleaning latrines or pressing the button. Their presence there means that New Zealand is actively supporting US activities in Yemen just to keep weapons flowing into Israel.

On 18 May I, William Alexander, began a zero calorie hunger strike to call on the NZ government to stop supporting Israel's genocide of Palestinians. I’m asking them to take three meaningful actions: increase our funding for UNRWA;  investigate claims that NZ company Rakon may be supplying components for weapons used by Israel; and withdraw NZ troops from the Red Sea. 

By doing these things the NZ Government can alleviate the suffering being inflicted on the Palestinian people and signal to political leaders around the world, including the US, that we need to stop supporting and enabling Israels acts of genocide.




2024-05-29 15:33:17 +1200

5,000 signatures reached

2024-05-24 19:04:08 +1200

1,000 signatures reached

2024-05-24 16:24:21 +1200

500 signatures reached

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100 signatures reached

2024-05-24 15:21:32 +1200

50 signatures reached

2024-05-24 15:19:08 +1200

25 signatures reached

2024-05-24 15:17:33 +1200

10 signatures reached