Israelis share common ground at Beersheba commemoration

For one day out of 100 years, an Israeli city became all about the Anzacs, as the centenary of the successful Battle of Beersheba was commemorated with services, a parade and re-enactments.

Alongside the Prime Ministers of Israel and Australia, there was a Prime Minister missing - New Zealand was the only country involved not to send any elected representatives.

A haka marked New Zealand's return to a desert battlefield we fought for 100 years ago.

Earlier this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed New Zealand declared war on Israel over a vote at the UN, but on Wednesday, his declaration was all about peace.

"We have peace and prosperity and security made possible because of those heroes," he said. "We'll always remember that."

Against the odds, New Zealand captured Tel el Saba, helping change the direction of World War I.

Its height was a clear advantage for the hundreds of Turks camped there, fortified with machine guns.

The success of our mounted rifles allowed the Australian Light Horse to lead the victorious charge at Beersheba, which was re-enacted a century on.

Before the election, our Prime Minister was expected to be here, but the Governor General came instead. Hamilton Mayor Andrew King took it upon himself to be the elected Kiwi representative.

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull came, despite facing a political crisis at home, which his government partly blamed on NZ Labour.

The commemorations took place within rocket range of Gaza and having Mr Netanyahu there made them an extremely high-risk target for attack.

Security was immense, including a large awning - not to protect against desert sun, but to protect Mr Netanyahu from gunfire from above.

Our war may have ended here 100 years ago, but for Israelis and Palestinians, it continues every day.