The following was released today by Auckland’s Palestine Human Rights Campaign:
The Palestine Human Rights Campaign is calling upon the New Zealand Government to condemn Israel’s killing of civilian activists on board the peace flotilla carrying humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip.
“The New Zealand government should call in its newly credentialed Israeli ambassador to lodge a protest. The government never tires of condemning the Palestinian militancy but accommodates blatant breaches of international laws and this act of deadly piracy in international waters is the latest example” says PHRC spokesperson Janfrie Wakim. By failing to defend the high seas from Israeli government piracy, our government is acquiescing to degradation of international law regarding the freedom of navigation,’ she adds.
The flotilla of ships carrying citizens from 30 countries, was carrying supplies that Israel has barred from entering Gaza, including educational supplies, cement and other building materials, electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.
“It is important to note that John Ging, the head of the United Nations in the Gaza Strip, has called upon the international community to defy Israel’s blockade of Gaza to bring humanitarian aid to the territory. The murdered activists were only answering this call and were of no conceivable threat to Israel’s security” Ms Wakim said.
“If this government remains silent over this act of piracy, it will signal that the government intends to maintain a ‘business as usual relationship’ and, as far as New Zealand is concerned, that means Israel can literally get away with murder.