New Zealand’s government has arranged for 90 seats on a flight to assist its citizens and Pacific islanders to exit Israel. This decision follows the increased tensions in the region, with Israel continuing its strikes on Gaza.
In collaboration with Etihad Airways, the government aims to help its citizens leave the conflict area. New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, emphasised the severity of the situation, stating that the circumstances are rapidly deteriorating. The first scheduled flight to Abu Dhabi will depart on Saturday.
Despite the government’s efforts, they are advising those who have already booked commercial flights not to cancel them due to the limited availability on special flights.
Jenny Matheson, a New Zealander in Jerusalem, shared her plans to board the Abu Dhabi flight. She mentioned that about 20 other New Zealanders in Jerusalem have plans to exit via Jordan.
Addressing the conflict, Minister Mahuta condemned the Hamas attack, stressing the importance of a proportionate response and the necessity to avoid civilian casualties. The government is also exploring how New Zealand might provide humanitarian aid, especially for those in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Regarding potential criticisms and international standpoints, Mahuta highlighted the need for global cooperation and assessment via platforms like the United Nations.