Israeli attack on United Nations

media-releases
16 Jan 2009 | Bob Brown
Foreign Affairs

Prime Minister should break silence on Gaza

The devastating Israeli military attack on the United Nations buildings in Gaza, which has reportedly wiped out the relief agencies' food and medical supplies, should cause a rethink in the Australian Government's stance, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"It is time the Prime Minister took decisive diplomatic action. He should start by calling in the Israeli ambassador to express the Australian people's horror at what is happening in Gaza," Senator Brown said.

"Nine Israeli human rights organisations, including the local Amnesty International section, have called for Israel's military to end the wanton use of lethal force; the United Nations' chief Ban Ki-moon has called the attack on the United Nations outrageous; the Foreign Press Association has called for a boycott of Israeli military pictures, following attacks on a media building; hundreds of panicked sick and wounded civilians were forced to flee from a hospital after it was shelled with phosphorus and caught ablaze, according to hospital officials; and the death toll of Palestinians has surpassed 1000 - yet there has been no condemnation of the Israeli military's actions by the Rudd government.

"The public is alarmed, yet Australians are hearing nothing from the Government to match their concern.

"Australia needs to be part of global diplomatic efforts to get the Israeli government to stop this sickening violence," Senator Brown concluded.

The Australian Greens have consistently condemned the violence from both sides, including the rocket attacks on Israel.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603