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Australia must end the silence on Palestine

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 9 Jul 2014

The NSW Greens are calling on all political parties to condemn Israel's military attacks on Gaza and the West Bank.

According to reports, at least 41 Palestinians have been killed in the last 72 hours in Gaza by Israeli forces with 130 wounded. Eleven children under 15 are reported among those killed.

The Israeli Cabinet has authorised the calling up of 40,000 army reservists ahead of a possible ground offensive.  At least 1,500 soldiers have already been deployed around the perimeter of Gaza.

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and NSW Greens Upper House MP David Shoebridge have said "Labor and the Coalition's silence on the atrocities of the Israeli military towards Palestinians is shameful.

"The international community - including Australia - must not allow Israeli forces to unleash another bloodbath in Gaza.

"The 1.6 million people of Gaza, the world's biggest open prison, endure humiliation and hardship every day in the face of Israeli military aggression.  The Red Cross has called the blockade 'collective punishment' and a violation  of Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law.

"It is unacceptable to remain silent on the recent 273 Israeli military airstrikes against the Gaza strip and the threat of a ground invasion.

"Deeply disturbing reports have come in overnight of Israeli forces shelling  hospitals with one nurse among those killed.

"Rocket attacks from Gaza must stop. These attacks cannot be used to justify the overwhelming and brutal collective punishment unleashed by the IDF.

"Political leaders must now call on Israel to stop their military attacks on Palestine and all acts of aggression.

"The arrest of more than 400 Palestinians in the West Bank by Israelis authorities is another matter of great concern. These people must be given assurances of fair trials and humane treatment in detention.

"The Israel and Palestinian conflict is not one of equal players. There is an oppressor and there is an oppressed.

"We condemn and ask that all acts of violence by both Israelis and Palestinians cease.

"The Greens will continue to support all those working to end the blockade of Gaza and for the withdrawal of the Israeli military from illegally occupied Palestinian territories.

Media contact: 9230 3030

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