Rousing farewell for Kiwi doctors flying out to Gaza aid flotilla

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Young people give three New Zealand medics a rousing haka
Young people give three New Zealand medics a rousing haka at Auckland International Airport to farewell them on their courageous trip to joint the humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza. Image: Jo Currie/Kia Ora Gaza

Kia Ora Gaza

A passionate haka reverberated through Auckland International Airport as a medical team of three New Zealand doctors received an emotional farewell from a big crowd of supporters before flying to Turkey to join the international Freedom Flotilla to Gaza.

The doctors, who left Auckland yesterday, hope to be able to reach Gaza and join with other flotilla medics to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid and treat wounded patients in the war-ravaged enclave.

Their participation is facilitated by Kia Ora Gaza.

Kiwi medics, Dr Shahin, Dr Idais and Dr Ali salute
Kiwi medics, Dr Shahin, Dr Idais and Dr Ali salute the airport gathering. Image: Achmat Eesau/Kia Ora Gaza
Part of the crowd farewelling the New Zealand doctors
Part of the crowd farewelling the New Zealand doctors at Auckland International Airport yesterday. Image: Jo Currie/Kia Ora Gaza
Kia Ora Gaza organiser Roger Fowler
Kia Ora Gaza organiser Roger Fowler with the three Gaza-bound New Zealand doctors. Image: Tayyaba Khan/Kia Ora Gaza

The doctors being farewelled were Dr Wasfy Shahin and Dr Faiez Idais led by Dr Adnan Ali.

Kia Ora Gaza organiser Roger Fowler anticipated this current flotilla was “shaping up to be an historic event”.

After ignoring six months of horrific genocide in Gaza, he said, the New Zealand government had failed to take a stand.

“They haven’t even lifted a finger,” he said.

The Freedom Flotilla’s solidarity mission “is an international civil society attempt to break through Israel’s illegal siege and end the occupation and slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza”.

And it was also planned to deliver more than 5500 tonnes of urgently needed humanitarian aid.

Other speakers included Green Party co-leader, Marama Davidson, who sailed on the 2016 Women’s Boat to Gaza, PSNA secretary Neil Scott and local Palestinian community leader Maher Nazzel.

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