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The Guardian 28 January, 2009

AEU call for Gaza solution

The 2009 Australian Education Union Federal Conference has today (18 January) carried the following statement on Gaza:

Since the commencement of Israel’s military campaign on Gaza on 27 December over 1,000 Palestinians have been killed, at least one third of whom are children. The conflict has also seen the reported killing of 13 Israelis, 10 of whom are soldiers at least 4 of whom were killed by "friendly fire".

While condemning the unlawful rocket attacks by Hamas and other militias, these actions do not legitimise nor legalise the actions of Israel which continue to impose a collective punishment on the people of Gaza.

According to the UN Special Raporteur for the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967, the unlawful blockade of Gaza, which has inflicted "a massive form of collective punishment", and the disproportionate use of force by the occupying forces constitute violations of International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Israeli bombing of UN schools, a university and hospitals is particularly condemned.

Federal Conference calls on Prime Minister Rudd and all world leaders to take strong action to end the bloodshed of innocent people and assist in achieving a just and lasting solution.

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