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Statement: Peace Action Wellington Date: 11 June 2024

“The NZDF will train with the Israeli Defence Force as part of the US-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval drills beginning on 26 June. The NZ decision to proceed with this training while Israel is in the midst of an all out genocide is staggering,” said Valerie Morse of Peace Action Wellington.

“It shows that the NZ government has disregarded all concern for the lives of Palestinian people in favour of lining up with the US military and its closest ally, Israel. It shows that the NZ government has disregarded all international law in favour of pure power politics.”

“In the past three months, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has said that Israel is committing a genocide. The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. The ICJ told Israel to halt its military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Instead, Israel intensified the bombing of civilians setting people on fire in a grotesque massacre. And just days ago, the United Nations added Israel to its ‘blacklist’ of countries that commit grave violations against children during armed conflict.”

“The depth and breadth of suffering in Palestine is beyond imagination. The brutality of the Israeli military knows no boundaries. This is who Christopher Luxon and Defence Minister Judith Collins have signed the NZ military up to train alongside.”

“It is shocking and totally unacceptable.”

“New Zealand must immediately halt its participation in RIMPAC. The HMNZS Aotearoa must be re-routed back home to Taranaki.”

“This is not the first time that Israel has been a participant in RIMPAC so it would not have been a surprise to the NZ government. It would have been quite easy to take the decision to stay out of RIMPAC given what is happening in Palestine. That Luxon and Collins have not done so shows that they lack even a basic moral compass.”


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