Pro-Palestinian protesters call for Govt intervention

The Wellington Palestine Group stages a protest march to Parliament today. Photo by Ross Setford...
The Wellington Palestine Group stages a protest march to Parliament today. Photo by Ross Setford/NZPA.
About 150 protesters converged on Parliament today to urge the Government to condemn Israel's assault of the Gaza Strip.

Protest organiser Tali Williams, of the Wellington Palestine Group, called on the Government to revoke the credentials of the Canberra-based Israeli ambassador to New Zealand and the current visa-free status for Israelis.

The group also called for the Government to cut non-United Nations contact with the Israeli military, support any moves to indict Israeli leaders for war crimes, ban goods from Israeli businesses in the occupied territories and stop government departments procuring Israeli goods and services.

Green Party foreign affairs spokesman Keith Locke was the only MP to address the protesters, condemning Israel and the lack of action on the part of the Government.

Mr Locke said Israel was guilty of war crimes.

He criticised the Government for not even being prepared to call Israel's assault on the territory as "disproportionate" to the rocket attacks it cited as a pretext for the attack.

The protest briefly held up traffic in Wellington's centre as it moved from Cuba St to Parliament.

Israel has started pulling back its troops in the past few days following a 22-day offensive that authorities estimate has left 1300 Palestinians dead and thousands more homeless.

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