Murder of aid worker Zomi Frankcom not just ‘tragic’, but a crime: APAN

Apr 2, 2024

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) has expressed its shock, distress and anger at Israel’s killing of Australian humanitarian worker Zomi Frankcom and four of her international and Palestinian colleagues who were working to deliver food aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

The Israeli airstrike that killed the five World Central Kitchen workers is the latest in a series of Israeli attacks on humanitarian convoys, workers and civilians seeking aid, and must be unequivocally condemned by the Australian Government.

The Australian Prime Minister today described this attack as being “completely unacceptable” and as “tragic” news, with DFAT “requesting a call-in from the Israeli ambassador.”

APAN maintains that Israel’s pattern of targeting, terrorising and massacring humanitarian convoys, aid workers and the civilians they are supporting makes this act not just “tragic” but criminal.

It must be described and investigated as such, and the perpetrators of these war crimes held to account.

The Israeli Occupying Force has made no secret of its intentions and ongoing action to block, delay, hinder and destroy humanitarian aid as part of its criminal policy of intentionally starving  Gazans.

Israel’s statements that it is making “extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid” must be considered alongside the demonstrable contrary evidence.

The Australian Government must immediately recall the Australian ambassador from Israel, expel the Israeli ambassador, impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on Israel, and cease issuing export permits for Australian made components used in the weapons of genocide being used by the Israeli government in its ongoing atrocities in Gaza.

APAN mourns the loss of Ms Frankcom and expresses its deepest sorrow and condolences to her loved ones and colleagues. APAN stands in solidarity with all those who are striving to offer support, aid and hope to Palestinians in Gaza, in these most horrific conditions.

Quotes attributed to APAN President Nasser Mashni:

“Even when an Australian humanitarian worker is murdered by Israel while trying to feed starving Palestinians, the best the Australian Government can do is to label this a ‘tragedy’ and ‘request a call-in’ from the Israeli ambassador.

“This is not a tragedy, this is a crime, and governments like ours are continuing to offer Israel the impunity to commit these crimes every time they respond using weak language like this.

“Israel is a rogue state and must be treated as such – it is clear that it will continue to perpetrate these crimes as long as it knows that there are no consequences for these murders and mass killings.

“Our Prime Minister today said this was a tragedy that should not have occurred, and we couldn’t agree more. This, and the killing of every Palestinian over the past 178 days, might have been prevented had our government and other nations held Israel to account years ago for its continual breaches of international law.

“The Australian Government must immediately find the political will to unequivocally condemn Israel’s behaviour, pull every diplomatic and economic lever at its disposal to compel Israel to comply with the International Court of Justice’s binding orders, and stop issuing permits for the export of Australian made components for weapons being used by the Israeli government to murder Palestinians and the people trying to help them survive in Gaza.”