With civilian casualties in Gaza reaching high numbers, there were two demonstrations in Wellington today – one (above) in support of the people of Gaza who are being killed, the other in support of Israel whose army is killing them.
Report and photos from Anne Russell:
Around 300 people gathered outside the Israeli Embassy on Brandon St today to protest against Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
When three teenage Israeli boys were recently killed in Palestine, Israel responded with an extended bombing campaign on Gaza, and today have announced a ground invasion. Yesterday, Israeli missiles killed four Palestine boys on Gaza Beach. According to the Guardian, the death toll in Palestine is over 340, with 13 Israeli soldiers killed.
The Wellington protest included speakers from families who had been in Gaza, including a seven-year-old girl. They called for the international community to stand with Palestine, and to not ignore the ongoing massacre.
The protest overall called for an end to Israel’s occupation, justice and liberation for Palestine, and support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Campaign (BDS), which seeks to boycott the Israeli government and Israeli commerce.
Joint news release
A busload of 50 people from Napier/Hastings came to Wellington in support of a Standing with Israel Peace Rally in Midland Park today. They say:
We are a group of fair-minded New Zealanders who maintain that:
1. It is the Israeli government’s right and responsibility to defend her citizens
2. Israel did not want this war, nor did they initiate this war; they were forced into it by the unceasing barrage of rockets being fired upon her innocent civilian population
3. Israelis overwhelmingly want to live in peace with their Palestinian neighbours, but the terrorist regime in Gaza wants only war.
4. As Prime Minister Netanyahu has already said, while Israel are using missile defences to protect their civilians, Hamas are using their civilians to protect their missiles.
The supporters from Hawkes Bay came from the Flaxmere Christian Fellowship Church.