The announcement of an accord between Hamas and Fatah deserves encouragement and support from the international community.
While this is a tentative first step with many issues left to be addressed, it is nevertheless a step that must bring a glimmer of hope to the people of Gaza. The fact that the agreement was negotiated with the assistance of Egypt is also encouraging, especially if the border between Gaza and Egypt will now more flexibly permit movement of people and trade.
It is to be hoped that the Australian government will publicly express its encouragement for the agreement and partner with an international strategy to further strengthen this tentative step. It is important that the Palestinian voice at the negotiating table gain increased legitimacy.
That Prime Minister Netanyahu has already poured cold water on the agreement saying it will make peace harder, is hardly surprising. Netanyahu has always made it clear that he does not want a unified Palestinian authority that speaks for all Palestinians. He would rather live with the excuse that he has no one legitimate with whom to negotiate.
We strongly commend the statement made by the spokesperson for the PLO Dr Hanan Ashrawi.
The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) expresses its deep concern about the arrest of Issa Amro following his criticism of the Palestinian authorities on Facebook.
Amnesty International has called the arrest a “shameless attack on freedom of expression”. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Office has expressed its concern and said it will be monitoring the case, stating it is vital for citizens to have uninhibited expression regarding public figures. Continue reading
Paypal refuses service to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, but serves Israelis in illegal West Bank settlements. Join campaign to get Palestinians access. Sign Petition now
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June 2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the brutal Israeli military Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. An occupation that seems shockingly stable.
We must redouble our efforts so the Occupation doesn’t grind on for another 50 years.
Read Bishop Browning’s Opinion Piece in the Courier Mail – there can be no peace without Justice. Or below for his video message