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New Zealand government website removes Israel from map

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.

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.”

The fact sheet even identified East Jerusalem al-Quds as “the designated capital of the State of Palestine.”

The web page was removed after it sparked some complaints on social media.

The Israel Institute of New Zealand urged the country’s immigration minister to “immediately apologize for the offending image and confirm that it does not reflect Government policy.”

Gaza has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in living standards. Israel has also launched three major wars against the enclave since 2008, killing thousands of Gazans each time and shattering the impoverished territory’s already poor infrastructure.

Gaza has also witnessed tensions since March 30, 2018 which marked the start of the Great March of Return protests, with participants demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

Israeli troops have killed at least 305 Palestinians since the beginning of the rallies and wounded more than 17,000 others, according to the Gazan Health Ministry.

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