Monday, September 13, 2010

(NEWS) New Zealanders Join Aid Trip To Gaza

"Former bus driver Roger Fowler used to drive between Auckland suburbs, but this month he will drive into war-torn Gaza to distribute aid to 1.5 million Israeli people.

Fowler and a small group of six Kiwis, including his son Hone, will join hundreds of others from all over the world in a peace flotilla.

The East Mangere grandfather told TV ONE's Close Up he is determined to get aid past the Israeli army and is prepared for all the dangers that come with the mission.

'This is an international mission and we felt it was important [that] Kiwis were part of that because we've got a good track record of standing up for justice, for what is right,' he said.

The last peace flotilla that tried to enter Gaza in May was met with resistance. Ten people were fatally shot in the incident.

The action led to a sharp deterioration in Israeli-Turkish relations and forced Israel to ease the blockade of Gaza, which the Jewish state says is to prevent Palestinian Hamas militants from acquiring the military capability to attack Israel. Ex-Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer is leading a United Nations inquiry into May's raid.

But Fowler said he weighed up the pros and cons of this new mission and decided he had to help.

The group will take medical, education and building supplies into the country and say that is what is needed most.

The trip will take weeks and cost thousands, but Fowler believes it will be worth it, as he said it is not only about taking aid, but also about taking a stand." (source)

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