Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is horrified by recent events in Israel and Palestine. All governments must urgently employ all diplomatic means to de-escalate the violence and initiate urgent peace talks. There must be a ceasefire and humanitarian aid must be allowed into Palestine.
The bombing, killing and kidnapping of Israeli civilians by Hamas on 7 October is totally reprehensible and all hostages must be released immediately. Hamas does not represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people.
Over 1,300 Israelis have been killed and over 2,600 Palestinians have been killed and over 9,600 wounded since October 7.
Israel’s demand that 1.1 million people in the northern half of the Gaza Strip, walk 25 kms to the south of Gaza to escape being killed has been called a crime against humanity by the UN Envoy to Palestine and will precipitate a humanitarian catastrophe.
We welcome the $10 million Australian aid package for Palestine announced on 14 October. Humanitarian needs for food, water, medical supplies and shelter are rapidly escalating and Australia will need to commit further assistance.
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is in contact with our partner organisation since 1989, the MA’AN Development Center, an independent national civil society organisation assisting women, children and farmers in Gaza and the West Bank. They are demanding an immediate end to hostilities, urgent humanitarian assistance and an end to the occupation of Palestine. The infographic provided below is from the MA’AN Development Center.
MA’AN’s office in southern Gaza has been destroyed, and relief stores and main office in Gaza city have suffered damage; many staff have lost their homes. As soon as possible, MA’AN will be working with alliances of Palestinian and international NGOs on immediate and medium term responses.
Violence against civilians and civilian infrastructure are against international humanitarian law, as is the occupation of Palestinian territories, the 17-year siege of Gaza, the settlement of Israeli citizens in occupied territories, and the threat to move occupied populations out of the country.
Australia must exercise all avenues of diplomacy to stop the bombing and the ground assault by Israel into Gaza. This military attack into northern Gaza will undoubtedly kill civilians, many of which will be vulnerable people who cannot leave. The international community cannot allow this assault to proceed.