NZ called on to demand Israel ends ‘inhumane blockade’, and give Gaza aid flotilla safe passage

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The three volunteer doctors going to Gaza with the Freedom Flotilla humanitarian aid project
The three New Zealand doctors off to Gaza . . . Dr Faiez Idais (from left), Dr Adnan Ali (leader) and Gaza-born Dr Wasfi Shahin (seated). Image: Kia Ora Gaza

Asia Pacific Report

Three Palestinian solidarity groups have joined the humanitarian aid charity Kia Ora Gaza in calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters to demand that Israeli authorities “end their inhumane blockade” of Gaza and allow the international Freedom Flotilla “safe and unhindered passage”.

A team of three doctors has been selected to join the flotilla to provide humanitarian medical aid when it sails soon to the besieged Gaza Strip.

They will be joined by hundreds of prominent civilians, human rights advocates and medics from around the world, plus international media people.

The volunteer doctors are Dr Wasfy Shahin and Dr Faiez Idais to be led by Dr Adnan Ali.

An open letter, signed by Kia Ora Gaza’s Roger Fowler; John Minto, national chair of the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA); Janfrie Wakim, spokesperson of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC); and Maher Nazzal, co-founder of Palestinians in Aotearoa Co-ordinating Committee (PACC), has also called for permanent ceasefire.

The open letter stated:

Dear [Foreign Minister Winston Peters] and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon,

We call on the NZ government to demand the Israeli authorities end their inhumane blockade and siege and allow the international Freedom Flotilla safe and unhindered passage to their destination — Gaza 

We are pleased to announce that a team of three New Zealand doctors have been selected to join the international Freedom Flotilla which is due to sail for Gaza very soon.

Our Kiwi team of volunteer doctors are Dr Wasfy Shahin and Dr Faiez Idais to be led by Dr Adnan Ali.

The Freedom Flotilla sailing again
The Freedom Flotilla sailing again . . . 9 people were killed in the 2014 Israeli attack on the flotilla. Image: Kia Ora Gaza

They will be joined by hundreds of prominent civilians, human rights advocates and medics from around the world, plus international media personnel on this peaceful non-governmental, civil-society mission to challenge the illegal and inhumane 17-year Israeli naval blockade and siege of Gaza and to deliver urgently needed humanitarian and medical aid and services.

The team of Kiwi doctors are ready to join the Freedom Flotilla to bring humanitarian and medical aid to Gaza.

Our NZ medical team’s participation in this important humanitarian mission has been facilitated by Kia Ora Gaza and supported by many hundreds of fellow New Zealanders. We expect our government to resolutely uphold their safety and wellbeing.

This mission seeks to bring a message of hope and solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for peace and justice and to highlight demands to end Israel’s illegal siege and deprivation of Gaza, the bombing, and the occupation.

As with previous international humanitarian flotillas to Gaza, the current mission poses no threat whatsoever to Israel.

However, in light of the urgent need for aid, Israel’s non-compliance of ICJ orders, and their illegal interception and seizure of previous Gaza-bound boats in international waters, we call on the NZ government to urgently demand the Israeli (and US) authorities lift the siege, implement a permanent ceasefire and allow the Freedom Flotilla safe and unhindered passage to reach their destination and deliver humanitarian and medical aid.

Yours sincerely,

Roger Fowler QSM
Chair, Kia Ora Gaza

John Minto
National Chair
Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

Janfrie Wakim
Spokesperson
Palestine Human Rights Campaign

Maher Nazzal
Co-founder
Palestinians in Aotearoa Co-ordinating Committee (PACC)

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