Israel's Gaza campaign may violate international law,
 says UN official, GUARDIAN REPORT

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Australian Imams condemn Israeli attacks on Gaza
by Zia Ahmad
The peak body representing Australian Imams has called on the Australian Government to use its influence to stop the the killing of Gazans by Israel in its latest offensive.
The Australian National Imams Council, ANIC in a statement issued on Friday 11 July, condemned the latest military assault by the Jewish state that has resulted in the death of more than 100 people and almost 1000 people injured so far.
ANIC believes that the Palestinian people are being subjected to “collective punishment” for the unrealistic excuse of the kidnapping and subsequent death of three Israeli settlers.
It has called on the international community to call for a stop to this unjust and unwarranted aggression against people of Gaza.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay said that the Israeli missile strikes on Gaza violate international law prohibiting the targeting of civilians. 
"We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” She said.
Palestinian sources claim that at least 200 houses have been bombed by Israel since  last Tuesday and that most of the fatalities have come as a result of the house bombings.
Israel's strikes into Gaza followed a buildup in violence after three Israeli students were killed in the occupied West Bank last month and a Palestinian youth was killed in a  revenge attack in Jerusalem by Israeli settlers. Palestinian rocket fire escalated after Israeli forces arrested hundreds of Hamas activists in the West Bank while searching for the youths, who Israel claimed were abducted and killed by Hamas.

Israel's Gaza campaign may violate international law, says UN official

High commissioner for human rights says reports of civilians killed in strikes on homes raise doubt over legality of action.

southern of Gaza strip. Photograph: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

Israel's air campaign in Gaza may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians, the UN's top human rights official has said as the death toll of Palestinians rose to more than 100.

As international pressure continued to build on Israel to end its four-day conflict with Hamas and Palestinian militant groups in the enclave, Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said the Israeli military must abide by international law.

"We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes," Pillay said. "Such reports raise serious doubt about whether the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law."

A Gaza health ministry spokesman said two Palestinians had been killed and three injured in an Israeli air strike on Friday that brought the death toll to 100.

Rocket fire continued at Israeli cities, which have so far avoided deaths, and Hamas's armed wing, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, said on Friday it intended to hit Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion international airport, warning airlines not to fly to it.

A rocket also caused the first serious Israeli casualty – one of eight people hurt when a fuel tanker was hit at a service station in Ashdod, 20 miles north of Gaza.

The White House said late on Thursday that Barack Obama had phoned the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to offer to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

"The United States remains prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities, including a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement," the White House said.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said a ceasefire was "more urgent than ever" after an emergency security council meeting on Thursday. Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has also urged Netanyahu to consider a ceasefire.

Riyad Mansour, Palestine's ambassador to the UN, said: "We call on the security council to act immediately to protect civilian lives, which are being lost and destroyed with each passing minute."

But in a televised statement on Thursday, Netanyahu seemed to indicate that Israeli's military action in Gaza – named Operation Protective Edge – was far from over.

"So far the battle is progressing as planned, but we can expect further stages in future. Up to now, we have hit Hamas and the terror organisations hard and as the battle continues we will increase strikes at them," he said.

Israel has called up about 20,000 reserve troops, and while there is still no indication of whether it will launch a ground offensive, shelling and air strikes continued on Friday.

Overnight six Palestinians were killed in two strikes, including one on the home of an Islamic Jihad militant in Rafah, medical sources said.

Witnesses told AFP the militant, Abdel Razzaq al-Ghannam, was not home when the attack took place, but five people, including a woman and a seven-year-old child, were killed. It followed an air strike on a house in Gaza City that killed 33-year-old Anas Abu al-Kass, who was described by Palestinian officials as a doctor and pharmacist.

Medical officials in Gaza said at least 74 civilians, including 23 children, were among those killed since Tuesday.



Despite the barrage of rockets targeting Israeli cities including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – causing thousands to rush to bomb shelters for the first time in years – there have been no Israeli deaths since the beginning of this latest conflict.

The Israeli military confirmed on Friday that 548 rockets had been fired from Gaza into Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, including one from Lebanon on Friday morning that landed near Galilee.

On Friday morning, air raid sirens also rang out again in Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial capital, and three loud explosions were heard as Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system shot down rockets over the city for a third day running.

"Three rockets were launched at central Tel Aviv. All three were intercepted over the Tel Aviv metropolitan area," an Israeli army statement said.

In Jerusalem, Israeli police deployed extra units in the Old City to deal with potential unrest after Friday prayers, according to a police spokesman. Access to al-Aqsa mosque will again be restricted to women and men over 50.

Last week, there were riots in Shuafat, East Jerusalem, following the murder of 17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was abducted from outside his home and then killed. A Shuafat resident told the Guardian on Thursday that as many as 60 members of Israel Defence Forces had been stationed in the neighbourhood for more than a week.

"future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory."

By Robert Fisk

"The Independent" - July 09, 2014 - - OK, so by this afternoon, the exchange rate of death in two days was 40-0 in favour of Israel. But now for the Gaza story you won’t be hearing from anyone else in the next few hours.

It’s about land. The Israelis of Sederot are coming under rocket fire from the Palestinians of Gaza and now the Palestinians are getting their comeuppance. Sure. But wait, how come all those Palestinians – all 1.5 million – are crammed into Gaza in the first place? Well, their families once lived, didn’t they, in what is now called Israel? And got chucked out – or fled for their lives – when the Israeli state was created.

And – a drawing in of breath is now perhaps required – the people who lived in Sederot in early 1948 were not Israelis, but Palestinian Arabs. Their village was called Huj. Nor were they enemies of Israel. Two years earlier, these same Arabs had actually hidden Jewish Haganah fighters from the British Army. But when the Israeli army turned up at Huj on 31 May 1948, they expelled all the Arab villagers – to the Gaza Strip! Refugees, they became. David Ben Gurion (Israel’s first Prime Minister) called it an “unjust and unjustified action”. Too bad. The Palestinians of Huj were never allowed back.

And today, well over 6,000 descendants of the Palestinians from Huj – now Sederot – live in the squalor of Gaza, among the “terrorists” Israel is claiming to destroy and who are shooting at what was Huj. Interesting story.

And same again for Israel’s right to self-defence. We heard it again today. What if the people of London were being rocketed like the people of Israel? Wouldn’t they strike back? Well yes, but we Brits don’t have more than a million former inhabitants of the UK cooped up in refugee camps over a few square miles around Hastings.

The last time this specious argument was used was in 2008, when Israel invaded Gaza and killed at least 1,100 Palestinians (exchange rate: 1,100 to 13). What if Dublin was under rocket attack, the Israeli ambassador asked then? But the UK town of Crossmaglen in Northern Ireland was under rocket attack from the Irish Republic in the 1970s – yet the RAF didn’t bomb Dublin in retaliation, killing Irish women and children. In Canada in 2008, Israel’s supporters were making the same fraudulent point. What if the people of Vancouver or Toronto or Montreal were being rocket-attacked from the suburbs of their own cities? How would they feel? But the Canadians haven’t pushed the original inhabitants of Canadian territory into refugee camps.

And now let’s cross to the West Bank. First of all, Benjamin Netanyahu said he couldn’t talk to Palestinian “President” Mahmoud Abbas because he didn’t also represent Hamas. Then when Abbas formed a unity government, Netanyahu said he couldn’t talk to Abbas because he had unified himself with the “terrorist” Hamas. Now he says he can only talk to him if he breaks with Hamas – even though he won’t then represent Hamas. 

Meanwhile, that great leftist Israeli philosopher Uri Avnery – 90 years old and still, thankfully, going strong – has picked up on his country’s latest obsession: the danger that Isis will storm west from its Iraqi/Syrian “caliphate” and arrive on the east bank of the Jordan river. 

“And Netanyahu said,” according to Avnery, “if they are not stopped by the permanent Israeli garrison there (on the Jordan river), they will appear at the gates of Tel Aviv.” The truth, of course, is that the Israeli air force would have crushed Isis the moment it dared to cross the Jordanian border from Iraq or Syria. 

The importance of this, however, is that if Israel keeps its army on the Jordan (to protect Israel from Isis), a future “Palestine” state will have no borders and will be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory.  

“Much like the South African Bantustans,” says Avnery. In other words, no “viable” state of Palestine will ever exist. After all, aren’t Isis just the same as Hamas? Of course not. 

But that’s not what we heard from Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s spokesman. No, what he told Al Jazeera was that Hamas was “an extremist terrorist organisation not very different from Isis in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Boko Haram…” Tosh. Hezbollah is a Shia militia now fighting to the death inside Syria against the Sunni Muslims of Isis. And Boko Haram – thousands of kilometres from Israel – is not a threat to Tel Aviv. 

But you get the point. The Palestinians of Gaza – and please forget, forever, the 6,000 Palestinians whose families come from the land of Sederot – are allied to the tens of thousands of Islamists threatening Maliki of Baghdad, Assad of Damascus or President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. Even more to the point, if Isis is heading towards the edge of the West Bank, why is the Israeli government still building colonies there – illegally, and on Arab land – for Israeli civilians? 

This is not just about the foul murder of three Israelis in the occupied West Bank or the foul murder of a Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem. Nor about the arrest of many Hamas militants and politicians in the West Bank.  Nor about rockets. As usual, it’s about land. 





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Australian National Imams Council

ﻲﻟاﺮﺘﺳﻻا ﻲﻟارﺪﻔﻟا ﺔﻤﺋﻷا ﺲﻠﺠﻣ

Postal Address:

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Lakemba NSW 2195

Ph: 1300 765 940

Fax: 1300 765 964


Press Statement


Australian National Imams Council Condemns the

Barbaric Attacks and Collective Punishment against

Innocent and Defenceless Palestinians


The international community including Australia remains largely silent as the Israeli army

offensive in Gaza killing scores of innocent people enters its fourth day; at least 100

Palestinians have died in airstrikes since they began on Tuesday.


ANIC condemns in the strongest possible terms the unfair and disproportionate military

assault by the Jewish State against the Palestinian people including women and children


We are witnessing the escalation of brutal aggression by the Israeli Defence Force against

the innocent and defenceless people of Palestine. Australia and the International

community must adopt a firm stance to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Palestine.


ANIC believes that the Palestinian people are being subjected to “collective punishment” for

the unrealistic excuse of the kidnapping of three settlers.


ANIC reaffirms its position on condemning the alleged kidnapping and killing of the three

settlers and believes that the perpetrators must be brought to justice following due process.


We call upon the Australian Government to condemn the systematic killing of the

Palestinian people and to do all it can on the international level to stop the Israeli

aggression against the people of the Gaza Strip. The international community must actively

intervene to stop this unjust and unwarranted aggression.


The current brutality and devastation of the Gaza Strip in particular and the region in

general is a stark reminder of the atrocities that an occupation of a free nation can bring.





11th of July 2014










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