The time for feeble words is long gone – Australia must act to stop Rafah attack: APAN

May 6, 2024

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) demands that the Australian Government urgently acts to pressure Israel to abandon its attack on Rafah and to end its genocide in Gaza.

This afternoon, Israel’s Occupying Forces ordered Palestinians who have been forced to seek shelter in Rafah during the past seven months to evacuate to so-called “designated evacuation zones.”

Israel last night bombed Rafah and has signalled its intention to proceed with an offensive in Rafah despite the international community, aid agencies and diplomats urging it not to.

The world knows that these so-called “evacuation zones” and “safe zones” have been anything but safe for Palestinians.

Palestinians have been systematically displaced from their homes into smaller and smaller parcels of land as Israel has destroyed homes, neighbourhoods and civilian infrastructure across Gaza. 

People have been terrorised, attacked, arrested and murdered while trying to make their way along “safe corridors” to so-called “safe zones”, have been bombed while in these “safe zones”, and are now also enduring starvation, manufactured by Israel, while in these zones.

Israel has expressed genocidal intent in Gaza and has demonstrated time and again that it has no interest in the safety or rights of Palestinians. Israel has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted to ensure Palestinians have safe passage to, or are guaranteed safety in, new “evacuation zones.”

The Australian Government must immediately use all economic and diplomatic tools at its disposal to stop Israel’s attack on Rafah, to put an end to Israel’s genocide, its siege of Gaza and displacement of Palestinians, its occupation and its policies of apartheid that have brutalised and terrorised the Palestinian people for the past 76 years.

Australia must:

  • Officially withdraw its support for the Israeli Government
  • Expel the Israeli Ambassador to Australia and recall Australia’s Ambassador to Israel
  • End the two-way trade of military technology, weapons and components with Israel, including ending the export of weapons parts where Israel is the end user of the export
  • Commit to a political resolution that centres justice, equality, self-determination and the right to return for Palestinians.

Quotes attributed to APAN president Nasser Mashni:

“1.5 million Palestinians – including 610,000 children – are now trapped in Rafah, and if the international community fails to stop Israel from attacking Rafah, we will surely see a mass slaughter too horrifying to contemplate.

“The international community must immediately intervene to protect Palestinians who have been forced to flee their homes, some displaced up to eight times, and who are now trying to survive in flimsy tents without food, running water or sanitation. 

“The Australian Government has for seven months now maintained unequivocal support for Israel and issued only mild statements calling for Israel to show restraint, without any hint of consequence for non-compliance.

“Australia must stop offering Israel impunity for its horrific violations of international law and its callous disregard for the lives and rights of Palestinians. 

“We demand that the Australian Government act immediately to end this horror. Australia has the economic and diplomatic tools needed to do so within its grasp, there is precedent for Australia using these tools in this way, and the world’s highest court has ordered that states intervene to end this genocide.

“The time for feeble words is long gone.”