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Wednesday, June 2

McCully weak on Gaza flotilla assault

Foreign Minister Murray McCully needs to do more than offer a diplomatically weak statement on Israel’s deadly attack on a peace flotilla, Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke said today.

At least nine people on board a peace flotilla trying to break the Gaza blockade died when Israeli commandos stormed the ships.

Mr Locke is concerned that New Zealand’s Foreign Minister’s statement earlier today fails to sheet home Israel’s responsibility for the aid activists deaths.

“We call on the New Zealand Government to join the international efforts to end Israel’s inhuman blockade of Gaza that is causing so much distress to the Palestinian people.

“The people on board the flotilla, were trying to help the people of Gaza,” said Mr Locke.

“Hauling in the new Israeli ambassador, Shemi Tzur, to express New Zealand's horror at the attack is the least we can do.”

According to news reports a New Zealand citizen was involved in the peace flotilla as well as a Green MP, Mehmet Kaplan, from Sweden. 

“New Zealand must join the global outcry against this brutal assault on an humanitarian convoy bringing much needed aid to Gaza,” said Mr Locke.

“The Israeli government brazenly violated international law by boarding the ships in international waters.

“New Zealand should also support the rapid establishment of an international inquiry into the circumstances of the assault.”