David Seymour, Greens' Chlöe Swarbrick clash over Israel-Hamas conflict in fiery AM interview

ACT leader David Seymour and Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick have clashed over calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.   

It comes a day after Chris Hipkins, speaking as Labour leader rather than caretaker Prime Minister, broke protocol by saying it was untenable to sit by and watch the "horrific scenes" without calling for it to stop.  

He added he was "particularly concerned" the actions of Israel's defence forces are "disproportionate and indiscriminate" and blamed the lengthy coalition negotiations for not speaking out earlier.  

But National wasn't impressed by the comments with the party accusing the Labour leader of "playing politics".  

National says it supports the goal of a ceasefire, however, the conditions haven't yet been right for one.  

Seymour and Swarbrick appeared on AM on Monday morning as part of the show's political panel, where Hipkins' comments were put to both of them.   

Swarbrick said it's "about time" a political leader in New Zealand stood up "to the plate" and called for a ceasefire, adding two Palestinians will die over the course of the interview, one of them likely a child. 

"It's incumbent on all political leaders in this country to stand up to the plate and to say that they call for a ceasefire, a return of hostages and actually, I would say for the incoming government to recognise the statehood of Palestine," she said.  

She was then asked by AM co-host Ryan Bridge if she could understand why "Israel is hesitant" to agree to a ceasefire without the hostages being released.   

"The other point I would make, Ryan, is that based on reports out of actually some of the Jewish families themselves who have been involved in this atrocity, who have had family members abducted, they've been actually really upset by the actions of the Israeli government and some of the reported actions from Benjamin Netanyahu, who apparently has not been prioritising the release of those hostages," she replied.   

Seymour was then asked about his stance and went on to say that he believes there is a "complete double standard" to this conflict.   

"There's an incredible double standard here. If any other country was attacked the way that Israel has been attacked, I think the world would be saying, yes, this is terrible, but actually, the right thing to do is for the other guys to release the hostages and stop attacking Israel," he said.  

"In this case, somehow, Israel is at fault and the calls are for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled. I'm sorry, but that is completely wrong."  

But Swarbrick was quick to fire back saying, "I'm sorry but I can't let that stand" and that the conflict "started 75 years ago when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homeland". 

Swarbrick then put a question to Seymour: "Do you call for a ceasefire?" 

"If the hostages are released, then maybe you can have a ceasefire," he responded. 

Swarbrick then put to him: "Are you willing to call for recognition of Palestinian statehood?" 

He replied that he was "responsible" and calling for a "two-state solution", which Swarbrick said requires acknowledging that "Palestine exists". 

Seymour said "of course it means Palestine exists" but said he would not support a motion to acknowledge Palestinian statehood in Parliament "while Hamas are running it", to which Swarbrick said the Israel Government had in the past supported Hamas to suppress the Palestinian people. 

"I'm not sure you're on the moral highground on this issue to be honest," Seymour responded. 

Watch the video above.