In reply to our emails to you on this matter (dated 5 July 2018 and 23 July 2018) we received an email acknowledgement from your office on 13 July 2018 and again on 24 July 2018, that indicated that we would receive a response ‘in due course’. However we have yet to receive a response from you.
Our emails requested you to demand that the Israeli authorities to end their illegal blockade of Gaza, and allow safe and unhindered passage for the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla heading for Gaza.
We have shared our request as an ‘open letter’ as this is an important issue of public concern.
Last night (NZ time) one of the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla boats, the Al Awda, was unlawfully boarded and apprehended by Israeli forces in international waters.
On board was our New Zealand representative, union leader Mike Treen, along with a number of other prominent human rights advocates and crew from around the world.
The flotilla boat also carried a quantity of urgently needed medical supplies to be gifted to Gaza’s over-stretched health services, and the boat itself was intended as a gift to Gaza’s fishers.
As with previous similar humanitarian missions, this flotilla poses no threat whatsoever to Israel.
In light of Israel’s unwarranted and unlawful interception and seizure of this Gaza-bound civilian boat in international waters, we call on the NZ Government to urgently alert our appropriate consular services to ensure the wellbeing and release of Mike Treen, and urgently demand the Israeli authorities:
- ensure the safety and wellbeing of all those on board, and the speedy delivery of our gifts to the Palestinian people in Gaza,
- end the inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip,
- immediately release the Al Awda and its crew and passengers unharmed,
- and allow the 2018 Freedom Flotilla and it’s medical cargo, safe and unhindered passage to their destination – the port of Gaza.
We look forward to your prompt response.
Roger Fowler QSM,
Kia Ora Gaza Trust (a partner in the Freedom Flotilla Coalition.)