New Zealand MPs demand release of women in Gaza protest boat

WELLINGTON — New Zealand lawmakers on Thursday called on Israeli authorities to quickly release a New Zealand Green Party Member of Parliament (MP) who was aboard a boat intercepted off the coast of Gaza.

MP Marama Davidson was one of 13 women aboard the Zaytouna-Olivia, which was allegedly intercepted by the Israeli navy in international waters while protesting Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said the Israeli navy was towing the “Women’s Peace Boat” to the port of Ashdod.

“We are calling on Israel to swiftly release Ms Davidson and the rest of the crew of the Zaytouna-Olivia, and to end the illegal blockade of Gaza,” Turei said in a statement.

“The New Zealand Parliament expressed its support for the Women’ s Peace Boat to Gaza and its mission of solidarity with the Palestinian people on the eve of Ms Davidson’s departure for Gaza, ” said Turei.

“We therefore hope that our fellow Parliamentarians will join us in our condemnation of Israel’s actions.” PNA/Xinhua –