APAN welcomes UN ceasefire resolution and Australian Senate motion

Mar 27, 2024

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) has welcomed Monday night’s UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate but temporary ceasefire in Gaza, but laments the fact that it took 171 days and Israel’s killing of almost 33,000 people to see it passed.

Likewise, APAN has welcomed an Australian Senate motion, passed yesterday, calling for Israel’s compliance to the UN resolution and January’s International Court of Justice ruling, which ordered Israel to take immediate action to prevent genocide in Gaza.

While marking a change of position for the US, which abstained from voting, the UN resolution only paves the way for a temporary ceasefire during the remaining two weeks of Ramadan, “leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire,” if Israel implements the ceasefire at all.

Already the Israeli Government has indicated that the resolution means nothing for its military, which has continued its air strikes on Rafah, where more than 1.3 million internally displaced Palestinians now shelter in tarpaulin tents and overcrowded camps.

The resolution also fails to stem the US’s export of weapons to Israel, which are being used to slaughter and terrorise Palestinians.

The temporary nature of this ceasefire, if implemented, will also be wholly inadequate for allowing sufficient flows of humanitarian aid into Gaza, to stave off what UN experts have called an impending famine in the territory.

As a key ally of the US, which is Israel’s major backer, Australia plays an important role in this ongoing crisis, and must work collectively with other middle power states to use all diplomatic and economic tools at its disposal to apply pressure to both the US and Israel to comply with these legally binding international rulings.

Quotes attributed to APAN President Nasser Mashni:

“It took the international community far too long to arrive at a point where it recognised that Palestinian lives are worth protecting and to vote for a ceasefire, and it’s simply abhorrent that the US still couldn’t bring itself to vote for a temporary ceasefire, and continues to export weapons to Israel.

“Even with this resolution having passed the UN Security Council, Israel brazenly defies international law, continuing to massacre, terrorise, rape, torture, maim and displace Palestinians.

“Meanwhile, the Australian Senate motion backing the UN resolution is the collective recognition we have been waiting for – it recognises both the catastrophic situation in Gaza, and the dire need for urgent action to stop the violence and get aid to Palestinians being subjected to Israeli imposed starvation.

“Yesterday’s Senate motion is a credit to the almost six months of community advocacy, activism, solidarity and resilience, and the support of a number of elected representatives from across the political spectrum who have spoken up for the human rights and justice of Palestinians.

“We thank the Greens, Independents and Labor senators for coming together to back this motion.

“We know people in Australia will see the Liberal National Opposition’s vote against the motion for what it is – a stark sign of its overt and dangerous racism, its politics of self-interest and division, its disregard for human life and its lack of compassion.

“There’s a lot more that must be done, because a temporary ceasefire won’t come anywhere near enabling the volume of aid needed to reach Palestinians who are already on the brink of famine, and Israel has already declared its intention to ignore this resolution. 

“The Australian Government must use this moment of international momentum and solidarity to work with like-minded states and use all diplomatic and economic tools within its grasp to ensure Israel implements a permanent ceasefire, and that there are consequences for Israeli non-compliance to these legally binding rulings and resolutions.”