The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) has reiterated its call for the Federal Government to end its support for Israel, immediately reinstate life-saving UNRWA funding and take action towards a permanent ceasefire in Gaza to protect Palestinians from genocide.
The call came in its second open letter to federal MPs in a fortnight, as APAN marked the end of a brutal second week since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Israel had a plausible case of genocide to answer to in the besieged territory, and ordered it to take immediate measures to prevent genocide.
APAN President Nasser Mashni said time was running out for Palestinians in Gaza, with Israel having launched an intensive attack upon southern Gaza, where it had ordered Palestinians displaced from other parts of the territory, to seek shelter.
“Almost half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population is now in Rafah, Israel’s forces are bearing down upon them, and these people have absolutely nowhere else to go,” Mr Mashni said.
“Meanwhile, Western governments continue to equivocate over their response to this ongoing Nakba, even while the ICJ has ordered that countries like Australia, which are party to the Genocide Convention, take urgent action to prevent this genocide.”
The death toll in Gaza at the hands of Israel’s Occupying Forces now approaches 28,000 Palestinians, the majority of them women and children.
APAN’s open letter highlighted the horrific story of six-year-old girl, Hind, who watched as Israeli forces in a tank fired on the car she was in, killing her family. Hind survived and spoke on the phone for hours with the Palestinian Red Crescent, while it sent a paramedic team to rescue her. Neither the paramedics nor Hind have been heard from since.
“The past week of terror has been a continuation of the 18 weeks of horror that preceded it, but it shouldn’t have been so – the highest court in the world ordered an end to these atrocities a fortnight ago,” Mr Mashni said.
“Despite this order and Israel’s callous flouting of international law, the Australian Government is still no closer to being able to openly condemn, in the strongest possible language, the atrocities of its ‘friend’ Israel.
“The Australian community demands that the government speaks up and leads – it must cut its ties with Israel, act to see an immediate ceasefire and the unobstructed flow of aid, and it must take all possible measures to prevent the ongoing Nakba in Palestine.”