Omar al Omari has carried refugee travel documents with him for all 53 years of his life.
His parents were forced out of Jaffa into Gaza in 1948 when the state of Israel was established.
Then in 1967, the family fled from further conflict in the region to Saudi Arabia.
Omari, his wife and two sons arrived in New Zealand in 2016.
Now he is among those in Rotorua with ties to Israel and Gaza calling for peace.
On Friday a ceasefire was declared between Israel and Gaza, halting 11 days of fighting which led to a total of 250 deaths.
While Omari never lived in Gaza, he has family there and has visited them.
When asked about Friday's ceasefire declaration, Omari said his people had heard the term often before. They know it is not a long-term solution.
"We are anxious and angry.
"If there are no solutions to the main problems this will happen again."
He believes the Israel-Gaza conflict is far from over.
Omari has family living both in Gaza and the West Bank. He said they, like all civilians in the area, have suffered worst from the fighting.
"I have a cousin who passed away in the ambulance on the way across the border to Egypt to get medical attention."
Omari hopes this most recent truce will at least last long enough for the people of Gaza to recover but the area "needs decades to fix the damage done".
Omari said the most recent conflict is only the latest in a long and difficult history of wars.
"We are not talking about Muslims or Jews or Christians or even peoples. We are talking about regimes.
"It's politics, always politics."
Omari said there were many questions still to be asked, and the situation was no longer a matter of defence.
But Omari still believes co-existence is possible and ordinary people can work together to achieve peace.
"We are already living together. Twenty per cent of Israel's population is Arab. We are doctors, teachers, ordinary people.
"God did not tell us to kill and to take. God created us equal.
"We want peace, we want to build peace together."
Maria Zhulanov lived for more than half of her life in Israel before moving to Rotorua in 2020.
While she hopes the most recent truce will hold, Zhulanov is realistic.
"I am a science professional, I can only talk based on previous experience, on what I have seen and heard."
Zhulanov will always have a part of her heart in Israel.
"I remember driving with my mother in the car and seeing rockets in the air. We had to get out and hide under the tree and hope.
"I will always remember that feeling. I can still feel it. I feel it for both sides."
Zhulanov wants people reading the news to focus on the people, not the politics.
"It is painful not only because I am from Israel, but because I am a human being.
"There is no right or wrong when we apply such violence against each other."
While Zhulanov currently works as a science technician for Scion, her mother, four sisters and their families still live in Bat Yam, near Tel Aviv.
Zhulanov said there were high levels of unrest and tension in the neighbourhood.
"The children are afraid to sleep, afraid to go to school."
Zhulanov believes any long-term peaceful solution requires open hearts, compassion and education.