The Australian Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) has welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement and Australian Government’s backing of a United Nations General Assembly resolution for a ceasefire for Gaza as a critical first step, saying the government’s shift in position was testament to the hundreds of thousands of Australians who marched, rallied and chanted demanding an immediate ceasefire.
APAN President Nasser Mashni said the community was distressed that it had taken 67 days of horrific Israeli military assaults, killing more than 18,000 Palestinians, for the Australian Government to join international calls for a ceasefire.
“A ceasefire is the bare minimum the Australian Government must be calling for – the government must now strengthen its position further,” Mr Mashni said.
“We must also demand immediate international action to stop the Israeli Government’s genocide against Palestinians, to end its siege on Gaza, its military occupation of the West Bank, and its apartheid regime.
“We must see the Australian Government use every diplomatic tool at its disposal to press for the return of all Palestinian political prisoners being held in Israeli detention and all hostages, as well as calling for thorough International Criminal Court investigations of all war crimes committed in Palestine and Israel.”
Most immediately, Mr Mashni said the Australian Government had to use its unified position with New Zealand and Canada to build a strong international campaign for the US Government to vote for the next ceasefire resolution at the UN Security Council and end its financial and military support of the Israeli Government’s genocide.
“Australia must put its weight behind the demands from governments across the Middle East and Latin America, as well as Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Malta and France to see the US and Israeli governments enact a ceasefire for Gaza,” he said.
“We saw the Australian Government take swift and strong action against Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russian government, military and media figures, and we must now see this in our national response not just to the Israeli Government’s violations of international law and war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank, but the US’s complicity with it.
“We must also end Australian complicity with the Israeli Government’s genocidal mission and apartheid regime against Palestinians by cutting all military ties immediately.”