The Queensland Muslims Inc. (QMI) urges world leaders including our own Prime Minister to refrain from using extremely skewed narratives such as ‘Israel has the right to defend itself’.

To be silent on the war crimes committed by the Israeli Occupying force is complacency but to go further and issue such statements is equivalent to handing the Israeli forces a ‘license to genocide.

What has transpired over the last few days and will be ongoing in the future is a direct result of the failure of western governments and their allies to address the situation of the Palestinian people who have faced Israeli settler colonial rule, ethnic cleansing, and genocide one deadly year after another for 75 years. There is nothing surprising or unprovoked about it.

For more than 16 years, the residents of Gaza, a population of 22 million have been under constant blockade with no freedom of movement. Since 2008, Israel has waged 4 wars on the territory killing thousands of innocent civilians, they can leave through the Israeli-controlled checkpoints only if they have an Israeli issued permit. The illegal blockade has brought the economy Of Gaza to a standstill where half the population is unemployed food supply and water provisions are in shortage, medical facilities are scarce and there are constant blackouts due to an ongoing energy crisis. One can only imagine the psychological impact of those living under such humiliating circumstances.

Former IJS President Jimmy Carter was not exaggerating when he described Gaza as the world’s largest open-air prison – “never before in history has a large community like this been savaged by bombs and missiles and then been deprived of the means to repair itself,”

The world needs to acknowledge the complexities of the situation and in so doing must apply the principles of justice and human rights. International law prohibits states from “any military occupation, however temporary”.

The Pro-Palestinian voice flooding social media is sufficient proof that the world has woken up to reject the atrocities committed by the Israeli Occupying force. It is now time for the world leaders to open their eyes and put an immediate end to the illegal occupation of Palestine.

The QMI calls upon the Australian Government and the global community to exert maximum pressure on Israel to halt their atrocities and cease provocations. To achieve stability, the rights of Palestinian to their lands, properties, and lives is to be recognised. Only then will we see long lasting peace in the region.

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