20 May 2024

Forcing a government rethink on Gaza 'a cause worth dying for' - Will Alexander

6:49 pm on 20 May 2024
Shortland Street actor Will Alexander

Will Alexander says some MPs have expressed concern for him but it would be better transferred to the people of Gaza. Photo: Supplied / Will Alexander

A former Shortland Street actor is starving himself in protest at the Israel - Hamas war in Gaza and says he may well become a casualty of the conflict.

Will Alexander, who played Dr Marc Peders in the medical soap opera, said he would not start eating again until the government stopped participating in the bombing in Yemen and withdrew New Zealand troops from the Red Sea.

He is also demanding the government resume - and double - contributions for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

"Our government needs to do a U-turn on this and everyone can see this."

New Zealand had suspended aid to UNRWA because of allegations against 12 of its employees - these allegations had been proven to be "baseless", he said.

A UN report to this effect had so far not made the government change its decision, he said.

Alexander started his hunger strike on Saturday afternoon.

He was feeling a bit shaky and dizzy but positive because he had clean water and a bed to sleep in, he told Checkpoint.

He had carried out research on the possibility of suffering a terrible death through starvation or else doing long-term harm to his health.

"I'm aware of those consequences."

He added: "I think this is a cause worth dying for. I don't want to die but I'm in a safe place and I have a lot of support from people and this matters a huge deal to me".

Alexander refused to share what response he had received from the MPs who had been emailed about his actions.

However, while they had shown some concern for him, he would rather they transferred their concern to more than 2.3 million Gazans, especially the children.

"They're much more hungry than I am."

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