Hamas-led Government should be judged on its actions

The Hamas-led Government, sworn in today in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, will be judged on its actions, says Foreign Minister Winston Peters.

"As I have said before, the New Zealand Government considers the recent election result reflected the will of the Palestinian people and must be respected.

"However, members of the international community including New Zealand have made it clear that Hamas must renounce violence and recognise Israel's right to exist.

"The new Government is facing serious and pressing challenges on the domestic front including the prospect of economic collapse, and failing law and order. Hamas now must get on with the job of governing and tackling these challenges in the interests of the Palestinian people," Mr Peters said.

New Zealand has supported the Palestinian Authority in the past, including a recent NZAID contribution of $500,000 through the World Bank managed Reform Trust Fund for the Palestinian Authority.

Mr Peters said that in the event further New Zealand support is sought, decisions will be made, taking into account the policies and actions of the Hamas-led Government.

"The new Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, has given indications in recent times that he would be prepared to make a lasting peace with Israel, based on Israel's recognition of a Palestinian state within the borders of the Occupied Territories.

"This is encouraging. Actions must match the words in the interests of a resolution of the conflict," Mr Peters said.

Document Type: Press Release
Country: New Zealand
Subject: Self-government area/developments
Publication Date: 30/03/2006