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Australian academics call to suspend defence cooperation with ‘Israel’

More than 400 Australian scholars, academics and students have expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation and against Israeli settler colonialism, calling the Australian government to condemn ‘Israel’ and its actions.

In an open letter they issued, the academics say, “In the past month, Palestinians have faced brutal Israeli settler colonial violence in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque, the West Bank, Gaza, and in Palestinian cities and towns in Israel.”

The letter also read, “This violence is rooted in a century of colonisation and Palestinian dispossession.”

The academics also refers to the Israeli violence against Palestinian worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem and Israel’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, saying ‘Israel’ has declared a “war on Palestinians.”

“We have seen worshipers attacked in al-Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, families facing the threat of forced removal from their homes, protestors shot and tear gassed, Israeli security forces and Israeli-Jewish mobs attacking Palestinians in Lydda, Jaffa and Haifa. We have witnessed massacres in Gaza, with entire families obliterated,” the academics say in the letter.

The academics state that Israel’s actions are in violation of international law.

“East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza are considered occupied under international law and Israel is responsible to guarantee Palestinian residents of these territories special protection,” they state.

“Instead, Israel is confiscating Palestinian land and homes, committing ethnic cleansing, and engaging in war crimes and grave breaches of the Geneva Convention.”

“The recent report of Human Rights Watch has concluded that Israeli actions towards Palestinians in territories it controls, from both sides of the Green Line, amount “to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.””

The academics also point out that what is happening in the occupied Palestinian territores by Israel “should not go unanswered by the international community.”

They continued, “While ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza has been declared, we remind the world that Palestinians across all historic Palestine continue to be subject to Israeli colonisation, apartheid and occupation.”

The scholars assert that “silence is not an option,” and call on the Australian government to condemn ‘Israel’ and its actions and re-evaluate its current and proposed trade agreements.

“We also call on the Australian government to suspend its defence cooperation with Israel and halt acquisitions of Israeli military equipment.”

The academics say that it is their responsibility “to speak up and stand with Palestinians against the forces of colonialism, injustice and inequality and for an immediate cessation of Israeli violence in all its forms.”

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