The Guardian • Issue #2094

Blood on their hands

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2094
Poster with red hand and

Photo: Anna Pha

Following the deadly air strike on 2 April on the World Central Kitchen (WCK) convoy in which 7 staff were killed, the WCK and other NGOs have withdrawn from Gaza, compounding an already desperate shortage of food and other humanitarian aid.

PM Anthony Albanese’s “outrage” over the killing of one Australian, Zomi Frankcom, is rank opportunism and hypocrisy.

What a performance, claiming he is not satisfied with Israel’s investigation into the precision targeting of three aid vehicles, clearly marked and known to the Israel military to be travelling along that route!

Israel still claims it was a mistake. In an incredible interview on ABC’s 7.30 program, an Israeli military spokesperson defended the attack on the convoy. Albanese has appointed a retired military officer to examine the Israeli investigation – not make an independent investigation of the facts. At the time of writing, Israel was not cooperating.

The WCK said Israel’s “apologies for the outrageous killing of our colleagues represent cold comfort,” and has called for an independent investigation into the attack.

The Australian government continues to focus on the release of hostages being held by Hamas, but remains silent on the deaths of tens of thousands of arbitrarily detained Palestinians, including minors, being held in subhuman conditions in Israeli prisons.

COMPLICIT

The Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit that provided the tools for the murder of the WCK staff will still be handed more than $900 million in Australian taxpayers’ money. A motion moved by the Greens to end all arm sales to Israel was defeated. The only other MP to support it was independent Andrew Wilkie.

The Albanese government has the blood of innocents on their hands. They are complicit in the genocide, failing to cease arming Israel and take other actions such as expelling Israel’s diplomatic staff. This failure is in breach of the International Court of Justice’s ruling of plausible genocide.

The ABC reports that “Australia’s Defence department has refused to publicly release a copy of the deal struck with Israel on defence industry cooperation because it ‘could harm Australia’s international standing and reputation.’

The Australian Information Commissioner (AIC), in a response to a freedom of information request by the Greens, reveals that the Israeli government was also consulted about releasing the document before Defence ultimately rejected the request. So much for our sovereignty!

“There is no place for secret arms treaties and secret arms deals between countries,” Greens senator David Shoebridge said. “And there is certainly no place for giving other countries veto power over what the Australian government tells the public about our government’s defence and arms deals.”

US President Biden has also expressed outrage and anger, but continues to fund military weapons for Israel. Biden is increasingly at odds with Israeli PM Netanyahu, but will do nothing effective about the genocide.

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