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Call for NZ Govt to demand end of Gaza blockade

STATEMENT:

We call on the NZ Government to urgently demand the Israeli authorities end the inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, and allow the 2018 Freedom Flotilla to Gaza safe and unhindered passage to their destination – the port of Gaza.

Kia Ora Gaza has sent a letter to our NZ Foreign Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters, on 5 July and again today 23 July, asking him to demand that Israel end the 11-year inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip and the allow ‘safe and unhindered passage’ for the four-boat Freedom Flotilla currently heading for the besieged port of Gaza.

NZ veteran human rights defender and union leader, Mike Treen is on board the flotilla, which departed Sicily for Gaza yesterday, as our NZ civil society representative on this international humanitarian mission to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade of the two million Palestinians confined in the Gaza Strip. News on the flotilla’s progress can be viewed on our website: www.kiaoragaza.net and the flotilla website: https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/

Attached below is a copy of our second letter, sent today to Foreign Minister, Winston Peters:

--

Rt Hon Winston Peters,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
NZ Parliament.
cc: Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern

Dear Mr Peters,

Re: Safe and unhindered passage for the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla to Gaza

In reply to our email to you (dated 5 July 2018) we received an acknowledgement from your office on 13 July 2018 (attached below), that indicated that we would receive a response ‘in due course’.

However we have yet to receive such a response, and yesterday the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla departed Sicily and is now heading across the Mediterranean to Gaza.

Our New Zealand representative Mike Treen is on board with a number of other prominent human rights advocates from around the world.

The flotilla also carries a quantity of urgently needed medical supplies to be gifted to Gaza’s over-stretched health services, and the boats will be gifted to Gaza’s fishers.

Like previous similar humanitarian missions, this flotilla poses no threat whatsoever to Israel.

However, in light of Israel’s unwarranted and illegal interception and seizure of previous Gaza-bound civilian boats in international waters, with this open letter, we once again call on the NZ Government to urgently demand the Israeli authorities end their inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip and allow the 2018 Freedom Flotilla safe and unhindered passage to their destination – the port of Gaza.

We look forward to your prompt response.

Yours sincerely,

Roger Fowler QSM,
Chair,
Kia Ora Gaza Trust.


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