Israel Institute of New Zealand co-director, Dr David Cumin, condemns the more than 600 rockets indiscriminately fired into Israeli civilian areas from Gaza. Three Israelis have been killed and 90 injured and rockets fired from Gaza that have fallen short of their target have also killed Palestinians.
“We must all condemn terror wherever we see it. Each one of the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza constitutes a clear war crime. The Israeli death toll is miraculously low only because Israel invests in protecting its civilians with warnings, shelters, and the Iron Dome, while Hamas uses the civilians it controls as human shields – another war crime.”
The attacks are being carried out by the terror organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad (acting as an Iranian proxy) and typically target Israeli civilians while firing rockets from within their own civilian population in order to create a human shield. This latest barrage of rockets follows earlier terror attacks on Israeli civilians including:
- More than 2,000 violent incidents against Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip since border riots, orchestrated by Hamas, erupted a year ago.
- More than 50 rockets and mortars were fired on Israeli civilian centres in May 2018.
- At least 17 rockets fired on Israel in July 2018.
- Over 400 rockets were fired from Gaza in November, 2018.
- Over 200 rockets were fired into Israel in March 2019; a home and other civilian targets were completely destroyed and seven people were injured, including two babies.
Dr Cumin says that while other liberal democracies have condemned these attacks – New Zealand has remained notably silent:
“Many other world leaders have spoken out against these ongoing terror activities. More than a dozen countries have already spoken out against the latest attacks with more likely to follow. The last clear condemnation of terror against Israel from a New Zealand Minister was by Helen Clark in 2006. That’s a shameful fact for Aotearoa.”