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MP was advised not to go on `peace ship'

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/10/2016

Green Party MP Marama Davidson was advised by MFAT not to go on the "peace ship" that's been intercepted by the Israeli Navy off the coast of Gaza, Prime Minister John Key says.

However, since she's now in detention she'll be offered consular support if she wants it, he told reporters on Thursday.

"I'm not surprised, it's happened to everyone who has tried it," Mr Key said.

"There will be a process to go through now, we will make sure she has any support she needs."

Mr Key expects the Israelis will deport Ms Davidson.

Asked whether it was a bad look for a New Zealand MP to be detained by Israel, Mr Key said it "wasn't perfect" and Ms Davidson would have known that, because MFAT advised her not to go.

The Greens are demanding her immediate release.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says the Zaytouna-Olivia was intercepted in international waters and is being towed to the port city of Ashdod by the Israeli Navy.

Israeli media reports confirmed the ship had been intercepted and "re-routed" to Ashdod.

The reports said the passengers offered no resistance when troops boarded it.

They include several parliamentarians, a retired US army colonel and Ireland's Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire.

"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," Ms Turei said on Thursday.

"The inhumane blockade has been in place for a decade, resulting in plummeting living standards and health services, high unemployment, and severe food insecurity."

Ms Davidson is one of 13 women aboard the ship, which left for Gaza on September 21.

The Israeli Navy has previously intercepted protest "peace flotillas" off Gaza.

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