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Tuesday, June 1

Israeli Ambassador called in

Israel's Ambassador to New Zealand was called in this morning to see Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

"I wanted to convey directly to the Ambassador New Zealand's concern about the incident off Gaza," Mr McCully said.

"I told him that Israel would need to respond to serious international scrutiny of yesterday's tragedy, and that New Zealand would be taking a close interest in discussions at the United Nations Security Council.

"I left him in no doubt as to the gravity of our concerns.

"I requested, and received, assurances that the New Zealand citizen who had been on board the flotilla would be treated appropriately while in Israeli custody, and that normal consular access would be provided.

"I repeated our call for an immediate full investigation into the incident, and urged all parties to show restraint while we awaited the outcome of that investigation.

"The situation in Gaza is unsustainable and there should be an intensification of the effort to find a solution.  New Zealand believes the current proximity talks between Israel and Palestine need to be turned into direct talks between the parties.

"In the meantime I have continued to encourage Israel to increase the flow of humanitarian and other necessary supplies into Gaza," said Mr McCully.