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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

New Zealand activists raise funds for Palestine charity after fine by Israel

Pro-Palestine activists told to pay $12,423 by Israeli court

Singer Lorde performs during the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year show honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York. Reuters 
Singer Lorde performs during the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year show honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York. Reuters 

Two New Zealand pro-Palestinian activists have raised $9,108.40 as of Sunday for charity after being fined by an Israeli court for their alleged role in persuading pop star Lorde to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv last year.

Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab said last week they would not pay the fine of $12,423.05 awarded to three Israeli teenagers, calling the court's ruling a "stunt" intended to intimidate Israel's critics.

Instead, they asked people to donate money through website "givealittle.co.nz" to the Gaza Mental Health Foundation, a volunteer group that raises funds for mental health and women's empowerment groups in the Gaza Strip.

As of Sunday, they raised NZ$14,000 ($9,106) according to the website.

"Given that we've actually had this kind of push upon us – we felt that it was expedient to actually recenter the issue back on Palestine," Abu-Shanab told Radio New Zealand.

The case arose from an open letter that Sachs and Abu-Shanab wrote to Lorde, a New Zealander, on the website "thespinoff.co.nz" in December urging her to call off her planned concert.

Lorde cancelled her concert in Israel that same month after a campaign by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) group, which campaigns for Palestinian rights, that included the open letter published by Sachs and Abu-Shanab.

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