Israel forces’ Gaza actions ‘deliberate’

Hundreds of protesters marched to the Octagon calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine...
Hundreds of protesters marched to the Octagon calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict in Gaza and the West Bank on Saturday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A professor of peace and conflict studies of the University of Otago has called the Israeli Defence Forces’ actions in the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza and the West Bank "merciless" and "deliberate".

Several hundred people again marched from Tuhura Otago Museum to the Octagon on Saturday in support of the Palestinian community.

Marches have occurred in Dunedin regularly since the start of the latest conflict on October 7, when Hamas launched attacks into southern Israel, killing about 1200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 240 people hostage.

This led to Israeli air and ground assaults in Gaza.

At least 18,500 Palestinians have been killed since then.

Speaking after the march, peace and conflict studies professor Richard Jackson said Israel’s "merciless assault" was intended to deny the possibility of a Palestinian state.

"All of the destruction is deliberate," Prof Jackson said.

"Israel knows exactly who it is killing. It is a deliberate and calculated policy."

Israel’s attempts to destroy Hamas would fail, Prof Jackson said.

He called on the New Zealand government to expel the Israeli ambassador to New Zealand.

Several other speakers were at the event, including rally co-organiser Rinad Tamimi, who is from Hebron in the West Bank, and the Rev Greg Hughson, of the Dunedin Abrahamic Interfaith Group.

Mr Hughson called for the end of all aggression in the conflict, and said it had been the "deadliest" year for the Palestinian community.

"There is no safe place in Gaza."

Ms Tamimi said there would be marches this Saturday and the following Saturday.