14 May 2021

Israel's ambassador says ground troops could shorten conflict

From Midday Report, 12:44 pm on 14 May 2021

Israel's ambassador to New Zealand believes sending ground troops into Palestinian territories could help bring an end to the conflict, which is now in its fifth day. Deaths are mounting, as rockets are fired into populated areas. In Israel, at least seven people, including two children, have died. While 109 Palestinians, including 29 children have been killed in the fighting. The International Criminal Court is concerned actions on both sides could amount to war crimes.

The United Nations' Middle East Peace Process deputy special co-ordinator, Lynn Hastings, told Deutsche Welle civilians were suffering and both sides needed to de-escalate the situation and get back around the table. And she said some Israeli actions were hindering the peace process.

"Stop the unilateral actions that are taking place," she said. "Those include things like evictions in East Jerusalem, increasing settlement expansion, settler violence, demolitions of Palestinian property in both East Jerusalem and in the West Bank. And the inability of Palestinians to be able to build on their own land in East Jerusalem and in parts of the West Bank as well." The New Zealand government is also calling for restraint.

Israel's ambassador to New Zealand, Ran Yaakoby, told Max Towle Israel has the right to defend itself from attack.