Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has met with Israel’s Ambassador to New Zealand Ran Yaakoby today — with the Gaza conflict among one of the key subjects discussed.
In a post to X (formerly Twitter) Peters said the meeting covered the Hamas October 7 attacks and developments on the ground in Israel and Gaza.
Also discussed was how a long lasting, peaceful outcome to the conflict might be found, and the New Zealand and Israel relationship.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said Peters would sharing New Zealand’s position on Israel moving into the southern Gaza city of Rafah.
Israel planned to launch a ground offensive into the city, where half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million were located. This has brought concern and warnings from some diplomats abroad.
While Luxon wouldn’t directly condemn Israel’s move when asked, he also expressed concern.
“We do not want to see Israel going into Rafah where there’s 1.5 million civilians sitting there, without making sure that there are really clear steps to support and protect them,” Luxon said.
“We want to see proportionate, controlled, targeted, precise action from Israel. Failure to do so I think undermines its long-term security, in terms of what it does within the region and causing resentment.”
He added peace is not going to come from military action, it will come instead through diplomacy, “so that’s where the emphasis needs to go”.
“Both sides need to get around a table.”
Additional reporting from rnz.co.nz