People have marched in Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch to oppose the ground operation in Gaza by Israeli tanks, infantry and engineering units.
The Rally for Palestine in Auckland marched from Aotea Square in central Auckland to the US Consulate General in Customs St today. Crowd estimates varied from 500 to 1000.
Hundreds took part in a march from the Dental School to the Octagon in central Dunedin, the Otago Daily Times reported. A small group of pro-Israeli protesters was also present.
There was also a march in central Christchurch today.
The rallies followed a protest in Wellington outside the Israeli embassy yesterday attended by more than 300 people.
The US Consulate General had warned US citizens to stay away ahead of the Auckland protest.
"Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence," the message to US citizens said.
Green Party MP Kennedy Graham said he did not condone violence by anyone, ever.
"But we must recognise the violence of Hamas for what it is - a desperate attempt at resistance by an oppressed people.
"And so following, we must recognise Israel's violence for what it is - not the right to self-defence, but a continuation of oppression and systemic violence."
Israel launched the ground attack on Gaza on Thursday local time. It followed 10 days of air strikes by Israel, which medics in Gaza said had killed at least 240 Palestinians.
There have been rallies to support the Palestinian cause in cities around the world since the ground operation began.
source: newshub archive