Media Release 18 October 2023
The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) has called on the Australian government to condemn the Israeli siege of Gaza and to call for negotiations for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all Israeli troops.
“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese must call for the siege and bombing to end before more innocent families are killed”, said IPAN Spokesperson, Kathryn Kelly, also a member of Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine (AJPP).
“Immediate measures must be put in place to address the current escalation of this historical conflict – including negotiations for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all Israeli troops from Gaza”, said Ms Kelly.
IPAN acknowledge the brutality of the recent Hamas attack on citizens of Israel, but believes the current escalation in conflict was entirely preventable and is a result of the 16-year long blockade and Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the enduring apartheid policies against Palestinians and the continual expansion of Israeli settlements.
“For many years now, the United Nations and many human rights groups have urged Israel to lift its blockade on Gaza”, said Ms Kelly.
“For 16 years Gaza has been an open-air prison and described as such by human rights groups and critics as well as former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron”, said Ms Kelly.
Over one million of the 2.3 million citizens are children. The economy is on the verge of collapse. The current blockade by Israel and Egypt has caused acute ongoing shortages of food, medical supplies and necessary construction materials. This inhumane situation must not be allowed to continue.
“IPAN therefore urges the Australian Government to call for establishment of a safe corridor for food, water and medical supplies for the people of Gaza.”
Over the years, the UN General Assembly has condemned Israeli military massacres and fundamentalist settler land grabs against Palestinians – but recommendations for sanctions against Israel have been ignored by USA, Australia and European military interests which support Israel. It is time that such calls for sanctions are heeded.
IPAN calls for leaders in the Middle East and across the world to work for an immediate end to hostilities and the withdrawal of all Israeli troops from Gaza and for urgent humanitarian aid to be provided to all who need it, with assistance from UN Emergency Peacekeeping Forces. “In addition, it is imperative that the USA stop providing Israel with more than $3 billion in military aid each year”, said Ms Kelly.
IPAN supports this call from Jews against the occupation:
“It is time for our government and the world to insist ‘Enough is enough’. Australia’s virtual endorsement of Israel’s ongoing criminal oppression and dispossession of Palestinians ‘ by asserting it’s ‘right to defend itself, is totally in defiance of international law and human rights.”
IPAN urges the Australian government to call for a peace conference of all parties, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the objective of working towards finding a just and peaceful solution for the people of Palestine and Israel.
IPAN also echoes the following call from Jewish Voices for Peace:
“We call on all people of conscience to stop the imminent genocide of Palestinians. We demand our government work towards de-escalation, that it immediately stop sending weapons to the Israeli military. A future of peace and safety for all, grounded in justice, freedom and equality for all, is still the only option.”