The Australian Greens have today refused to support the looming invasion of Gaza, saying the government must take steps to stop an invasion that will turn a humanitarian crisis into a catastrophe.
The Greens moved to amend a Government Business motion today to call for an end to the invasion and occupation and condemn the war crimes perpetrated by the state of Israel. With the government and Liberals joining together to block the amendment, the Greens voted against the Motion.
Over the weekend, the civilian death toll continued to climb in Gaza, with the constant bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli Defense Force killing hundreds and the denial of food, water and electricity, resulting in catastrophic losses of life.
Authorities in Gaza have said that more than 2,300 people have been killed, a quarter of them children, nearly 10,000 have been injured and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.
Gaza is one of the most densely populated places in the world, and it’s estimated that 40% of the population are under the age of 15.
The United Nations argues that Israel’s evacuation orders for Northern Gaza are impossible to achieve, and constitute a “death sentence” for many of the 2000 people receiving treatment in the area’s 22 hospitals.
International observers have expressed their alarm at Israel’s apparent bombing of a civilian convoy attempting to flee Northern Gaza using an approved escape route; the use of airburst white phosphorous in populated areas, which indiscriminately creates a “high risk of excruciating burns and lifelong suffering”, and of the bombing of ambulances and health facilities.
The indiscriminate bombing and siege of civilian populations is not self defence and to support it as such undermines International law and Australia’s global position on related matters.The Greens say for peace to be lasting, the Israeli government needs to end the occupation.
The Greens are giving notice today of a motion that condemns the attacks on civilians by Hamas and the Israeli government.
Lines attributable to Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:
“The looming invasion of Gaza will turn a humanitarian disaster into a humanitarian catastrophe,” Mr Bandt said.
“The Greens condemn the war crimes of Hamas and we condemn the looming invasion of Gaza, which will kill thousands and push a lasting peace further out of reach. We grieve with the Israelis and Palestinians who have lost loved ones and we must all work now to stop further bloodshed.
“With 40% of its over 2 million residents aged under 15, Gaza is a walled-in primary school, and an invasion will be a humanitarian catastrophe.
“Instead of backing the invasion, Australia should be part of an international push for peace and de-escalation, which means an immediate ceasefire, an end to the invasion of Gaza and holding to account those who have committed war crimes.”
Lines Attributable to Senator Jordon Steele-John, Greens Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs
“The Australian government must work quickly with the international community to end the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Gaza and for its nearly one million children,” Senator Steele-John said.
“We all watched in horror at the brutality and callousness of Hamas’ October 7th attacks on innocent civilians. The State of Israel’s siege and destruction of Gaza continues the cycle of violence. It is civilians in both places paying the price.
“The Greens reject and condemn all forms of violence, especially against civilians. We again call for an immediate ceasefire between the State of Israel and Hamas, an immediate halt to the forced removal and transfer of Palestinians in Gaza, a release of hostages, and an end to the military siege.
“The Australian government must be honest about the context of this violence so we can contribute to addressing it. The Netanyahu government has expanded and entrenched the state of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, creating the conditions that have seen Hamas’s influence grow and a just peace so much more difficult to achieve.
“Nothing can justify the violence we have seen over the last week. The grief of communities across the world grows daily because of the actions that Hamas and the Israeli state have taken against each other’s civilian communities. We can never forget that the goal must always be a lasting and just peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.”
Notice of motion on Israel - Palestine
That the House/Senate-
a) condemns war crimes perpetrated by Hamas, including the premeditated targeting of Israeli civilians;
b) condemns war crimes perpetrated by the state of Israel, including the bombing of Palestinian civilians;
c) calls for all perpetrators to be held accountable for their actions in accordance with international law;
d) calls for an immediate ceasefire between all parties and an end to the war on Gaza;
e) condemns anti-semitism, islamophobia and racism in all its forms both in Australia and internationally;
f) recognises that the September 2022 Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur found that the occupation of Palestinian territories “is not merely belligerent, but is settler-colonial in nature and that Israel has prevented the realisation of Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, violating each component of that right, wilfully pursuing the “de-Palestinianisation” of the occupied territory”;
g) recognises that for there to be peace there must be an end to the state of Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories; and
h) calls on the Australian Government to take action to support a ceasefire and pursue peace, including an end to the occupation.