Aid bodies call for arms trade with Israel to end

May 2, 2024
Aid organisations call on Labor to end the arms trade with Israel. Photo: Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA/Facebook

Aid and activist organisations, including Amnesty International (AI), Oxfam Australia, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network (APAN) and Trade Unionists for Palestine, supported the global call to end arms deals with Israel on May 2.

The day of action was observed by 14 countries, starting in New Zealand, followed by Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

More than 250 organisations joined the call, saying Labor must “commit to not allowing any weapons or parts manufactured in this country to be exported to Israel”.

It also urged governments not to be complicit in violations of international law by “fulfilling their legal obligations and secure a permanent ceasefire now”.

Save the Children, Plan International Australia, ActionAid, Muslim Aid Australia and the Australian Council for International Development also joined in.

Kate Lee, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA’s Co-executive Officer, said it had raised more than $850,000 since last October for food and other supplies for the people of Gaza.

“Israel has used starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza. Aid workers have been targeted, with more than 242 killed so far.

“Unions have always taken a strong stand for peace and the protection of civilians in any conflict.

“Australia has a responsibility under international law to halt the supply of any weapons, including parts and ammunition, where there are likely to be violations of international law,” Lee said.

She said that is why the Australian Council of Trade Union has called on the federal government “to take immediate steps to end military trade with Israel” including halting the transfer of components for Israel’s F-35 jets.

“This horrific war must end,” Lee said.

Mohamed Duar, representing AI, said “Israel is clearly guilty of widespread war crimes in Gaza”. AI wants an “immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza”.

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