Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the serious concern of the New Zealand Government about the proposed annexation by Israel of parts of the West Bank. The comments are in advance of the 1 July date set by Israel for a vote on annexation.
“New Zealand is a long-standing supporter of Israel’s right to live in peace and security. However, successive New Zealand governments have also been clear that Israeli settlements are in violation of international law and have negative implications for the peace process,” Mr Peters said.
“The New Zealand Government’s view is that annexation would gravely undermine the two-state solution, breach international law, and pose significant risks to regional security. We call on Israel to reconsider these plans.
“New Zealand has consistently pursued a principled and balanced approach to the Middle East Peace Process and continues to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“This Government stands ready to assist in any constructive way we can to support this process,” Mr Peters said.
“It is critical now for Israel and Palestine to work towards a negotiated, two-state solution. Both sides have legitimate issues and grievances and these have to be addressed through direct negotiations, with the aim of seeing Israel and a Palestinian state existing side by side, in peace and security,” Mr Peters said.