John Key – Canterbury earthquake – no link to Mossad

July 21, 2011 Agencies
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New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key today said the unusual circumstances surrounding a group of Israeli nationals caught up in February’s earthquake in Christchurch were fully investigated and no evidence was found of a link between the group and Israeli intelligence.

Prime Minister John Key

Mr Key revealed the investigation following media reports questioning the activities of a group of Israeli nationals in New Zealand at the time of the earthquake.

“The Government takes the security of New Zealand and New Zealanders very seriously. That’s why the relevant agencies conducted a thorough investigation.

“The unusual circumstances which triggered the investigation was the rapid departure from the country of the three surviving members of the group of Israelis in question.

“Security agencies conducted the investigation and found no evidence that the people were anything other than backpackers,” Mr Key said.

Mr Key also moved to correct points raised in the media concerning the number of passports that were found with a man who died in the earthquake. Mr Key said his advice was that the man was found with only one passport, of European origin. Media reports that he was found with five are incorrect. The other three people who had been in the van took their own passports with them when they left the country, and handed over the deceased man’s Israeli passport to Israeli representatives before departing.

“None of the passports were New Zealand passports,” Mr Key said.

Mr Key said he has been assured by Police that there has been no unauthorised access to the Police computer system.

Mr Key also confirmed he spoke once with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the days following the earthquake. Many other leaders also called to express their condolences and to offer assistance to New Zealand. It took several attempts by Israeli representatives to set up the phone call, as is commonly the case with such calls in the circumstances of a major natural disaster.

“The investigations that have been undertaken have been thorough and have found no evidence of a link between the group and Israeli intelligence,” Mr Key said.

“The Government takes the security of our country very seriously.”

A spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Wellington told J-Wire: “The Embassy of Israel in New Zealand completely rejects the media-reported claims and allegations made against Israeli nationals, who were victims of the tragic earthquake that occurred in Canterbury on February 22, 2011.

We would also note that New Zealand officials have reaffirmed that none of these individuals were involved in wrongdoing of any description.”

 

Comments

One Response to “John Key – Canterbury earthquake – no link to Mossad”
  1. Dennis McLeod says:

    Israel has had much experience in getting their people out of bad situations very quickly. So now they are being questioned because of their efficiency and concern for their people. How many New Zealanders have more than one Passport and are they questioned for doing so when they go to another country? On the day of the Earthquake two Israelis went missing in New Zealand. About 36 hours later I was phoned, because of my connection with Israel through a Christian Ministry, from Israel by very distraught parents. I was also phoned by a missing persons organisation from Israel who had been asked to find their sons. They told me they were already on the ground searching. Would New Zealand move that fast, we would have to have a committee meeting first, Egypt the case in point during the recent riots. I traced the the young men to the Wanganui River where they were enjoying three days of canoeing. I think it is time people started thinking of their young people as much as Israel does then our country may not have so many problems.

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