30 Nov 2012

UN vote good, but more needed: NZ Palestinians

3:46 pm on 30 November 2012

Some Palestinians living in New Zealand say upgrading the Palestinian Authority's status is a positive step but more needs to be done.

The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution that in effect recognises a Palestinian state.

New Zealand was among the 138 nations which voted in favour of upgrading the Palestinians from entity to non-member state at the UN General Assembly.

Nine countries were against the move - including Israel and the United States - and there were 41 abstentions.

But Billy Hania - who fled Gaza six years ago and now lives in New Zealand - says although official recognition is important, more pressure is needed to end the mistreatment of Palestinians.

Mr Hania says New Zealand could be taking a stronger stance against Israel.

And a New Zealand group representing Palestinian human rights is delighted with the vote.

The spokesperson for the New Zealand Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Janfrie Wakim says it's very pleasing that New Zealand has broken with the US and Israeli lobbies.

She says the wide global support for the resolution should help ensure Palestinians get the rights they deserve.