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Gaza: 680 dead, 3700 injured, entire families wiped out; any deal must include an end to the occupation

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 24 Jul 2014

Three weeks since the attack on Gaza began, and one week since the ground invasion began the Greens NSW say that any ceasefire deal between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza must include an end to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories and to the blockade of Gaza.

Greens NSW Upper House MP David Shoebridge said: "To date the Australian government has refused to take a position against Israel's brutal military offensive in Gaza, which has left over 680 Palestinians dead and more than 3700 injured.

"While Australian leaders are silent the world's opinion is turning in support of the plight of the Palestinian people and against the escalating violence that has resulted from Israel's ground invasion of Gaza.

"The international community must support a UN inquiry into human rights violations and war crimes by Israel during its military offensive.

"Australia's political leadership should learn from the principled stance of British Labour Leader Ed Miliband who has openly opposed the Israeli incursion into Gaza.

"Over 61,000 people have sought refuge with the United Relations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) - more than in any previous conflict in the region.

"It is inconceivable that Israel's military attack on al-Aqsa Hospital, al-Wafa Hospital, and Shifa Hospital was not enough to illicit strong condemnation from the Australian Government.

"We are calling on all sides to cease the violence, but this is not a war between equal sides. Israel, with the world's fifth largest military, is the oppressor and the people of Occupied Palestine are the oppressed. Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said: "This war, like those in 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2012, is part of Israeli government's plans to dominate Palestinian land and supress the Palestinian people.

"The international community must put pressure on both sides for an immediate end to the conflict and negotiate an end to Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories.

"We call for the release of 34 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in the occupied West Bank who are being held in Israeli jails. All Palestinian children being held in Israeli prisons must also be immediately released.

"I congratulate Melissa Parke, Labor MP for Fremantle, for speaking in Federal Parliament against the collective punishment being inflicted on Gaza and identifying Israeli actions as war crimes.

Responding to the war in Gaza, the Australian Greens National Council passed the following motion:

That the Australian Greens National Council:

1. Note that 2014 is the United Nations Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People;

2. Condemns the horrific escalation of violence in Gaza and consequential loss of hundreds of Palestinian lives;

3. Recognises that the Israeli Government's bombing of Gaza and ground offensive puts the might of its military force against the Palestinian people, and that this has not been proportionate to the Hamas rocket attacks;

4. Calls on the Australian Government to use its position on the United Nations Security Council to:

a. Acknowledge the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal and in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention; and that Gaza has been under an Israeli military and economic blockade for eight years.

b. To push for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza;

c. To support Amnesty International's calls for the UN to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups.

d. Reiterate our support and commitment to the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian and Israeli people to live in peace and security in their own independent, sovereign states.

Passed by consensus.

Lee Rhiannon 0487350880
David Shoebridge 9230 3030


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