Australia Palestine Advocacy NetworkWednesday, 18 October 2023 - 9:00am to Sunday, 31 December 2023 - 5:00pm Across the country
ACT, New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, lutruwita (Tasmania) and Victoria
The news coming from Gaza grows more horrifying by the day. Thousands of innocent men, women and children have been killed. As of 2 November over 8,800 have been killed in the three weeks since bombing started. Neighbourhoods have been flattened by bombings. Hospitals are overflowing with people with appalling injuries, and exhausted medical staff are operating without electricity, fuel for their generators and the most basic of medical supplies. There is no safe place in Gaza and no one has been allowed to leave. On 1 November around 300 foreign nationals were allowed to leave and around 80 severely injured Palestinians were allowed to be transferred to Egypt.
A ceasefire is the only solution to this catastrophic violence. The Australian Government abstained from an United Nations Assembly vote calling for an immediate and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities and the unhindered provision of essential aid to civilians throughout the Gaza Strip. By a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 14 against, with 45 abstentions, the Assembly adopted the resolution. Israel has ignored the resolution.
Of hose killed so far in Gaza, more than 3,747 are children and 2,290 women. At least 67 UN staff, 116 medical staff including paramedics and 35 journalists have been killed. Almost one and a half million people are displaced, and 1,950 people - 1,050 of them children - are trapped under the rubble of their homes and neighbourhoods, with more than 46% of homes damaged.
While the latest reports as of 2 November indicate 227 trucks of aid supplies have been able to get through the Rafah crossing, this is only a fraction of what is required. Fuel has not been allowed into Gaza, and the crossing continues to be bombed by Israel. With fuel supplies dwindling, two hospitals are now reportedly just hours away from their generators completely shutting down, putting at risk 42 babies in incubators, 62 patients with artificial ventilation, 650 patients with kidney failure and others who are critically wounded.
Meanwhile, we’re seeing increasing reports of Israeli war crimes and violations of international humanitarian laws. Human Rights Watch has confirmed that banned white phosphorus has been used on people in Gaza and Lebanon. The UN Humanitarian Relief Chief said Israel’s order for one million people to evacuate northern Gaza in just 24 hours “defied the rules of war and basic humanity.” Statements by UN bodies, including the Secretary General, have been unequivocal – Israel’s targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure is in clear violation of international law. The complete cutting off of Gaza is collective punishment and a war crime.
The Australian Government must clearly condemn these gross violations of international law. The killing of innocent Gazans is not “Israeli self-defense.” It is an attack on a population that is held captive in what has been described as an open-air prison, that has come to resemble - to use the words of the UN - “a living hell.”
The attacks must stop. The siege must be lifted. The violence that has plagued the people of Gaza and Palestine for the past 75 years must cease. All efforts internationally must address the underlying causes of these atrocities and urgently end Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism. Peace and freedom must reign for Palestine.
Please take action to increase the pressure condemning Israel’s attacks on the people of Gaza, and calling for an immediate ceasefire and the lifting of the siege of Gaza to protect the most basic of human rights – the right to live. We can’t be complicit in Israel’s genocide of the people of Gaza.
How to Take Action
Millions of people around the world are taking part in rallies in support of Palestine.
Many Palestinian and Jewish groups across the country are holding rallies, sit-ins. fundraisers and vigils. Check out the APAN events page to see what's happening near you, attend the weekly rallies calling for a cease fire and email to your MP asking for a ceasefire. Follow Palestinian journalists, medics and others on social media. Ask for more information on who to follow from your local group.
The weekly rally in Naarm / Melbourne takes place 12pm every Sunday at the State Library.