Christopher Luxon's 'spoken to' Chris Bishop about email on Israel-Hamas conflict, told him to be 'careful about language'

Incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has "spoken to" National MP Chris Bishop about an email he sent about the Israel-Hamas conflict.

An email circulating on social media appears to show Bishop replying to a member of the public about the Israel-Hamas situation.

"I note you don't mention the horrific barbarism by Hamas, whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel. Hamas terrorists butchered women and children in a rampage of violence and hate," Bishop said.

The senior National MP goes on to describe other actions of Hamas using what Luxon called "strong language". Bishop said Israel had shared footage of what he was describing.

Bishop asked the person he was corresponding with why their email neglected to mention those details of the Hamas attacks.

Newshub attempted to get a comment from the National Party on the appropriateness of Bishop's email on Tuesday. However, the party said it had no comment.

Luxon was asked about the email on AM on Wednesday morning and said there was "strong emotions on all sides of this debate".

He said he spoken to Bishop about the email.

"He's responding to a private email. My conversation with him was like, I think you've got to be a bit more careful about that language.

Luxon said he wanted to be clear that New Zealand condemned Hamas.

"When you look at the statement that we signed up asking for humanitarian assistance, when you look at the actual speeches that have been given in the [United Nations] General Assembly and at the Security Council by our own Ambassador to the UN, it's very strongly worded statements about how we do utterly reject and condemn Hamas' attack on Israel.

"We do defend Israel's right to defend itself, but we do expect all parties to comply with international law."

New Zealand has called for a "humanitarian pause" in Gaza as conflict in the region continues in the aftermath of Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7. Israel says about 1400 people - mostly civilians - were killed in that cross-border incursion.

The retaliation from Israel has been severe, bombarding Gaza as it wages a war on Hamas. However, that response has drawn concerns about collectively punishing the Palestinian people. According to Gazan health authorities cited by Reuters, 8525 people have been killed since the Israeli attacks, but that's not been able to be independently verified.

The New Zealand Government has said all parties must follow international law.

"We are appalled by Hamas's brutality, their targeting of civilians, and the taking of hostages, which are in clear violations of international law. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages," outgoing Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said last week.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said it was "intolerable to see civilians continue to suffer disproportionately as innocent victims of this conflict".

"New Zealand supports the right of Israel to defend itself against Hamas's terrorist attacks, but the way it does so matters.  It must abide by international law, exercise restraint, and prioritise the protection of civilians. Ultimately there is no military solution that will bring about a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians."

Luxon, who has been receiving briefings on the situation in Israel as the incoming Prime Minister, said he has not received any advice suggesting Israel wasn't meeting international obligations.

He told AM that it was a priority that humanitarian assistance get into Gaza.

"Already, New Zealand has committed $5 million to two aid organisations to try and get that humanitarian assistance into Gaza... we really want to prioritise the protection of civilians to get corridors in place to get that humanitarian assistance into Gaza."  

"It's incredibly sad and tragic on both sides," Luxon said. "When you see the unprovoked attacks from Hamas on Israeli citizens and civilians; you see the taking of hostages, you see the use of human shields... Likewise, innocent civilians getting caught up in this damage."  

He said he was thinking of New Zealand's Jewish and Muslim communities.