An official website of New Zealand’s government has published a map of the Middle East that only shows Palestine and doesn’t recognize Israel.
The website, Immigration New Zealand posted the map as part of a fact sheet that provided information about Palestinian immigrants to New Zealand.
It also identified East Jerusalem al-Quds as “the designated capital of the State of Palestine.”
The page referred to the “massive repression of Palestinians” caused by Israel during the Second Intifada (uprising). It also pointed out Israel’s “economic sanctions and a blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza.”
Following complaints on social media, the web page was removed.
The Israel Institute of New Zealand through its director, Ashley Church has called for a retraction of the map, and urged the country’s immigration minister to “immediately apologize for the offending image and confirm that it does not reflect Government policy.”
“This is incredibly offensive and the equivalent of New Zealand Immigration displaying a map of the UK which removed Scotland and Wales and referred to the entirety of the British Isles as England,” Church noted.
Gaza has been under Israeli siege since June 2007.
Since March 30 last year, which marked the start of the Great March of Return protests, the enclave has witnessed tensions with participants demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
According to the Gazan Health Ministry, Israeli troops have killed at least 305 Palestinians since the beginning of the rallies and wounded more than 17,000 others.