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Wlgtn Group To Protest Israeli ‘Celebrations'

Wellington Palestine Group To Protest Israeli ‘Celebrations’

The Wellington Palestine Group is appealing to parliamentarians not to attend tomorrow night’s celebration of Israeli independence at the City Art Gallery in Wellington.

The New Zealand government broke off diplomatic relations with Israel last year, when Israel failed to apologise for sending its Mossad spies to New Zealand to fraudulently obtain New Zealand passports.

The Palestine Group welcomed the government response to what it termed 'typically arrogant Israeli government behaviour that thinks it can get away with setting up murder squads anywhere in the world'.

The Wellington Palestine Group's spokesperson Gerard Burns says the New Zealand government did the right thing for the wrong reason.

"In the past our Foreign Minister Phil Goff refused to turn up to the Israeli Independence Day celebration because of brutal Israeli behaviour in the Occupied Territories. But the following year, when the Israeli occupation repression was even worse, he did turn up' Mr. Burns says.

"Israel's illegal construction of the separation wall through the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and announcement that it is to massively expand its equally illegal settlements there - let alone its ignoring its obligations under the RoadMap for Peace to refrain from violence - should mean that the New Zealand government should not even contemplate restoring diplomatic relations with Israel, even if Israel did get round to apologising for its Mossad adventure here."

The Palestine Group says it will be protesting the Israeli event at Civic Square in Wellington tomorrow night.

Mr. Burns says he hopes that no parliamentarians from parties other than the government will be tempted to attend either.

"We know that the Israelis are generous with their travel budget for overseas MPs, but surely our parliamentarians will not break ranks with the government on an issue of central importance for world peace."

ENDS

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