|A humanitarian ship that was attacked by Israeli forces on the open sea (AFP)|
Kia Ora Gaza, whose six-person Kiwi Team will join September’s international aid convoy to Gaza, believes Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand is exceeding his diplomatic mandate.
Speaking to TV1 on 9th August the Israeli ambassador, Shemi Dzur, claimed Kia Ora Gaza was being “provocative” and stated: “This is not a natural Kiwi operation – this is really a hatred kind of operation to undermine Israel.”
The ambassador’s comments were rejected by the Gaza aid group.
“The actions of Kia Ora Gaza are legal under both New Zealand and international law,” said Roger Fowler, captain of the Kiwi aid team.
“Kia Ora Gaza is on a peaceful humanitarian mission. We are fund-raising to deliver aid to people in Gaza. They are suffering under an Israeli siege which has been condemned by the United Nations, International Red Cross and most other world bodies.”
“The Israeli ambassador represents a state which imprisons the people of Gaza, and hijacks humanitarian ships on the open sea and shoots civilian aid workers. In a bid to justify the unjustifiable, the ambassador is now attacking Kia Ora Gaza.”
“The Israeli ambassador’s public attack on Kia Ora Gaza oversteps his diplomatic mandate which prohibits him from attacking New Zealand citizens inside their own country,” said Mr Fowler.