Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon hasn't 'seen any advice' to suggest Israel isn't respecting international law in Gaza

The incoming Prime Minister says he hasn't received any advice to suggest Israel is breaking international law in its siege on Gaza that has killed thousands of people and destroyed neighbourhoods.  

But Christopher Luxon told AM in his weekly interview while Wellington supported Israel's right to defend itself, it must do so while abiding by humanitarian law.  

That's why 120 countries, including New Zealand, signed the UN Gaza resolution calling for an immediate and sustained "humanitarian pause", he said. 

"Both parties here - Hamas and Israel - need to honour their international obligations around humanitarian assistance," said Luxon, speaking to AM host Ryan Bridge.  

Israel has said its forces don't target civilians but the country's Prime Minister, Bejamin Netanyahu, this week refused to pause hostilities with Hamas. He said all wars had unintended civilian casualties and its assault on Hamas-controlled Gaza was a fight between "civilisation and barbarism". 

Luxon said relief must be given to civilians in Gaza as soon as possible.  

"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."  

Palestinian health officials have said more than 8000 people have been killed in Israel's assault on Gaza. The assault was in retaliation to last month's Hamas attack on Israel, which authorities said killed 1400.   

"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."  

Luxon was asked by Bridge if he was comfortable with Israel's current behaviour.  

That was "an assessment that will be made by others", Luxon said. He hadn't "seen any advice" to suggest Israel wasn't meeting its international obligations, he added.  

Overnight, Palestinian officials said dozens of people were killed after an airstrike hit a refugee camp in northern Gaza.  

Israel has confirmed it hit 300 targets in Gaza overnight, including the camp, as its offensive against Hamas continued.