An online petition has been launched condemning the Australian Government’s decision to vote with the United States to block an investigation into the slaughter of more than 100 Palestinians by Israel over the past six weeks during the Great March of Return protests.
Since March 30, 112 Palestinians have been killed and more than 13,000 injured, including 700 children, during unarmed protests at the border between Israel and Gaza.
The protests lasted six weeks, and demanded a ‘right of return’ to Palestinian families driven out of the region 70 years ago during the ‘Nakba’ (the catastrophe), the 1948 Palestine War in which Jewish militias and Israeli forces attacked hundreds of Palestinian villages.
Under Israeli law, families who fled the violence (and their descendants) are not permitted to return to Palestine. There are today more than 5 million Palestinian refugees living inside and outside Palestinian lands.
Last week, the United Nations met to discuss the use of lethal force by the Israeli Defence Force against unarmed protestors, who approached the Israeli border fence at Gaza. But a vote to establish an investigation into the violence was opposed by two nations – Australia and the US.
Australians for Palestine launched a petition against the decision this week, attracting 1,500 signatures in its first day.
“We deplore the action of the Australian government in voting with the US in opposing the UN Human Rights Council inquiry into the slaughter of over 100 Palestinians in Gaza and the maiming of many thousands,” the petition reads.
“Palestinians were merely protesting eleven years of siege and blockade and the destruction of people, land, homes, schools, hospitals, electricity, sewage and water treatment plants.
“We are aware that Prime Minister Turnbull considers the values of Israel and Australia to be the same: derisory about international law, indifferent to human rights, and rejecting the ideals of a common humanity.
“Instead of supporting Israeli violence towards the Palestinian people, we ask the Australian government to uphold its claim to support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by displaying a modicum of courage and condemning the latest Israeli slaughter and opposing its illegal occupation, oppression, killing with impunity and other systematic human rights violations.
“We support the Palestinian people’s right to resistance, freedom, justice and self determination.
“We call on the Australian government to join the international community by calling for an immediate end to the eleven year Israeli siege of Gaza, the Occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the ongoing discrimination and dispossession of Palestinian people.”
You can sign the petition here.
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