The Arab Australian Federation has called for the immediate International protection of Palestinians under occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and under siege in Gaza. The root cause of the current aggression and violence in the Middle East is Israeli illegal occupation and constant oppression and violence against a persecuted indigenous population.
A report released by Human Rights Watch, an independent international organisation, declared that Israeli authorities are committing crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution. The report, released three weeks ago, and before even the current violence started, declared that Israel has a deliberate policy of maintaining the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and has committed gross violation of human rights and abuses in the occupied territories.
The world must recognise the fact that the current conflict is a continuation of the forced evacuation of Palestinians by Zionist settlers which has been going on since 1948. The recent forced displacement and eviction of Palestinian families from their own homes in Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem by Jewish settlers, supported by Israeli authorities, is a case in point. This is compounded by the demolition of inhabited buildings, the violent storming of the Aqsa Mosque and attacking worshippers while praying by Israeli settlers and occupation forces. The Palestinians initially responded to these measures with peaceful demonstrations and vigils, but the Israeli authorities (with the settlers help) responded with the arrest and assault of peaceful protesters that led to the current spate of violence and death.
The Israeli attacks on Palestinian worshippers, during the month of Ramadan, represent a denial of basic human right as enshrined by international law and is a crime against humanity. More than 126 Palestinians have since been killed, including 20 women and 31 children and close to 1,000 injured, which negates the false claim of targeted killing by the Israeli propaganda machine.
It is the height of hypocrisy for some world leaders, including the Australian Prime Minister, to claim that Israel has a right to self-defence when Israel itself is the occupier and instigator of violence. Resisting occupation is a right protected by international law, especially against an authority enforcing confiscation of Palestinian land and houses, ethnic cleansing and an apartheid policy against a helpless population.
The Arab Australian Federation calls on the international community and the Australian government to condemn in the strongest terms the actions of the Israeli government. We call for a just and endurable peace based on international law and the full human rights protection of Palestinians against occupation.
Arab Australian Federation
Nakbah Day – 15 May 2021