Gov refuses support for NZ Human rights worker in Gaza
The New Zealand government has refused consular support to
New Zealand Human Rights worker Julie Webb-Pullman who needs
government permission to return to her humanitarian work in
the Israeli-besieged territory of Gaza, Palestine.
Julie has spent the past eight years in Gaza and was in New Zealand in recent months to raise funds for the Gaza Human Rights Centre which is gathering evidence of war crimes to present to the International Criminal Court.
However, on her return to Gaza this week she has been told at the Egyptian border that she needs New Zealand government permission to enter GAZA.
Despite numerous appeals to the government through Foreign Affairs, she has been refused outright and Julie is stuck in Egypt in a New Zealand-imposed limbo.
“New Zealand is
knowingly colluding not only in the oppression of Palestine,
but also in the process of de-development underway since the
Gaza siege was imposed in 2007, whereby skills and
infrastructure are systematically destroyed, undermined and
otherwise obstructed in their development”, says
Foreign Affairs say they cannot give permission because they have a travel advisory against travel to Gaza. However, Julie is not a tourist to Gaza. She has lived in Gaza for the past eight years, has a full-time job there along with an apartment and all her household and personal effects.
The only winner here is the Israeli government which is doing its best to avoid accountability for war crimes and maintains a medieval siege of Gaza which it polices with unbridled brutality. Over the past year for example over 200 unarmed Palestinian protestors, many of them children, have been killed in Gaza during resistance marches to demand the end of Israel’s brutal siege.
This is a sorry day for New Zealand where a gutless government decision represents a betrayal of Palestinians.
New Zealand government claims to be “even-handed” in dealings with the Middle-East. This is untrue. We have strong relations with Israel but only token dealings with Palestinians.