Ceasefire agreement needed now: Peters 

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
May 07, 2024 |

New Zealand is urging both Israel and Hamas to agree to an immediate ceasefire to avoid the further humanitarian catastrophe that military action in Rafah would unleash, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said.

“The immense suffering in Gaza cannot be allowed to worsen further. Both sides have a responsibility to put an end to the conflict.”

Meanwhile, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the group has accepted a Gaza ceasefire proposal put forward by Qatari and Egyptian mediators.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the proposal is far from Israel’s demands but that the Israeli government will send a delegation to Cairo for talks. Israel’s war cabinet also decided that its military would continue operations against Rafah, with the army announcing striking targets in the east of the city.

In a press statement, Winston Peters said “New Zealand has been consistent in calling for restraint and stating that a military incursion into Rafah would be utterly unacceptable. We urge both sides to step back from the brink.

“We commend the efforts of those, including Egypt, Qatar and the United States, seeking to broker an agreement, which must include an extended ceasefire and the release of hostages” Peters said.

“It is the responsibility of both Israel and Hamas to agree to terms which enable an immediate cessation of armed conflict, the release of hostages, and a focus on meeting the immediate humanitarian needs of the people in Gaza.”

 Peters said that New Zealand continues to advocate for a long-term, political solution to the situation, so that Israelis and Palestinians can live securely and peacefully side by side.

“We are clear that Israel and a future Palestinian state, living peacefully side-by-side, is the only durable, realistic and fair solution. Everyone in the international community should be working to that end.

“Such a solution can only be achieved around a negotiating table, not in Rafah.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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