The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) has today demanded the Australian Government issue a statement of support for South Africa’s application to the International Court of Justice against Israel on alleged genocide violations in Gaza.
APAN’s call comes as Malaysia overnight issued a statement of support for the South African ICJ claim, which alleges that the scale of death and destruction in Gaza meets the threshold of the 1948 Genocide Convention.
APAN President Nasser Mashni said the Australian Government had issued a public statement of support for Ukraine’s ICJ case against Russia in September 2023, and now had to do the same for Palestine, in a demonstration of commitment to the integrity of the Genocide Convention.
“Just as the Australian Government stated that Russia had to be held to account for its actions in Ukraine, so must Australia make a public statement that the rules-based order on genocide must apply to Israel, to stop its atrocities against the Palestinian people,” Mr Mashni said.
“We’ve heard high-ranking Israeli officials expressing genocidal intent – which has been broadcast for all the world to see – saying they intend to ‘flatten’ Gaza, and have heard propaganda inciting genocide from Israeli political and media figures.
“The Israeli Government has committed genocidal actions, killing more than 22,000 Palestinians by bombing civilian infrastructure and deliberately targeting hospitals, UN facilities, schools, and refugee camps that have been sheltering people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes.
“This is genocide, punishable by international law, and the Australian Government must uphold its responsibilities as a state party to the Genocide Convention, and act immediately.”
Mr Mashni said the Palestinian community and its allies expected to see the Australian Government apply the same standards to the Israeli killing and serious mental and bodily harm of Palestinians as it did to Russian atrocities in Ukraine.
“Only three months ago, our Foreign Minister said that Australia stood with the people of Ukraine and 31 other countries supporting Ukraine because, ‘we are stronger when we work together to address shared challenges’,” Mr Mashni said.
“There can be no double standards when it comes to international law and genocide – Australia must today stand up for the people of Palestine and work together with the international community to put an end to Israeli genocide.”
About the author
Formed in May 2011, Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) harnesses the passion of Australians to advocate for Australian policy to support Palestinian human rights, justice, and equality.