Kia Ora Gaza reveals more on Freedom Flotilla plans to break Gaza siege

Kia Ora Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla
Kia Ora Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla . . . shared a platform at today's "hunger in Gaza" rally. Image: David Robie/APR

Asia Pacific Report

A New Zealand charity providing humanitarian aid for Gaza today revealed more details of the international Freedom Flotilla’s bid to break the Israeli siege of the enclave as mass starvation looms closer.

Latest reports say 27 children have died from malnutrition so far and the death toll is expected to rise in the coming days from Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza.

About 1000 protesters in an Auckland’s Aotea Square rally today waved empty dinner plates, some with messages such as “Gaza is being starved”, “Free Palestine” and “Starve Israeli weapons”.

They then marched in a silent vigil around central Auckland streets.

Among the speakers was Kia Ora Gaza coordinator Roger Fowler, who introduced one of the doctors that will be joining the charity’s medical team on the siege-breaking humanitarian voyage.

Twenty seven Gazan children die from malnutrition.  Video: Al Jazeera

“We’ve got a fundraising campaign, obviously we’ll be sending a flotilla of ships to Gaza,” he said.

Fowler introduced Dr Adnan Ali, an Auckland GP and surgeon who is a member of Medics International.

“We hope another doctor we are talking with will be able to join him,” Fowler told Asia Pacific Report.

Kia Ora Gaza's Roger Fowler with Lyn Doherty
Kia Ora Gaza’s Roger Fowler at today’s Palestine rally. His wife Lyn Doherty is on the left. Image: David Robie/APR

Israel defies ceasefire order
Israel has defied a near unanimous UN Security Council — the US abstained — demand last week for an immediate Ramadan ceasefire with just 10 days left of the Muslim religious fasting period.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also so far ignored further orders from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which is investigating Israel over South Africa’s allegations of genocide.

The court ruled on Thursday that “in view of the worsening conditions of life faced by Palestinians in Gaza, in particular the spread of famine and starvation”, Israel must take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full cooperation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians throughout Gaza”.

The measures outlined includes food, water, electricity, fuel, shelter, clothing, hygiene and sanitation requirements, as well as medical supplies and medical care.

Israel was also ordered to open more of the seven land crossings into Gaza.

On Friday, Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, told the UN Human Rights Council that Israel was committing acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip.

She said that countries should impose an arms embargo and sanctions on Israel.

Kia Ora Gaza's Roger Fowler introduces Dr Adnan Ali
Kia Ora Gaza’s Roger Fowler introduces Dr Adnan Ali (centre) of Medics International at today’s Palestine rally. Image: David Robie/APR

Luxon government condemned
Speakers at today’s Aotea Square rally — including Labour’s List MP Shanan Halbert and the Greens’ Ricardo Menéndez March — criticised Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his coalition government for refusing to condemn Israel’s atrocities against and failing to make any “meaningful” humanitarian response to the war.

During his speech about Kia Ora Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla, Roger Fowler reminded the crowd about Israel’s brutal response to the 2010 flotilla.

The flotilla, led by the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara was intercepted by the Israeli navy, and commandos shot nine Turkish and one Turkish-American pro-Palestinian activists. A 10th who was in a coma died six years later.

This attack led to a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Israel.

Israeli forces have destroyed the memorial memorial erected in Gaza to honour those killed during the current war.

"Gaza is being made to starve"
“Gaza is being made to starve” . . . empty plates at the Palestinian rally in Aotea Square today. Image: David Robie/APR
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