As Israel continues its genocide in Gaza, protesters demand Labor cut ties

February 18, 2024
Gadigal/Sydney on February 17. Photo: Zebedee Parkes

As Israel stormed a major hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, killing patients, Australians took to the streets across the country to call for a permanent ceasefire.

Israel has announced its intention to launch a ground war in Rafah, where more than 1 million people are trying to survive.

South Africa had lodged a request with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to urgently intervene.


Gadigal/Sydney on February 17. Photo: Zebedee Parkes

The ICJ said on February 16 that the “perilous situation”, particularly in Rafah, “demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures indicated by the court” late last month.

It did not issue new orders, but said the “state of Israel remains bound to fully comply with obligations under the Genocide Convention and with the said Order, including by ensuring the safety and security of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip”.

Electronic Intifada reported on February 17 that Hussam Abu Safiya, a doctor at Kamal Adwan hospital in northern Gaza, said several children had died due to thirst and malnutrition. He said generalised hunger and the spread of disease is widespread. Nursing mothers are also malnourished, the doctor said, affecting the health of their babies.


Protesters call for a ceasefire in Boorloo/Perth. Photo: Alex Salmon

More than 1000 people protested for a free Palestine in Boorloo/Perth on February 16. Alex Salmon reports they called on Labor to back up its recent call for a ceasefire with action, including cutting diplomatic, economic and military ties to Israel until it ceases fire on Gaza.

Students marched the Anthony Albanese's electorate office on February 16, where a protest camp has been set up by Families for Palestine.


Students march to Anthony Albanese's electorate office. Photo: Rachel Evans

The next day thousands took to the streets in Gadigal/Sydney in the 19th weekend mass demonstration in a row.

Peter Boyle reports that the protest rejected Anthony Albanese’s fake ceasefire call, which he made conditional on all the remaining Israeli hostages being released.

Speakers condemned Labor for continuing to supply the Israeli state with arms and signal intelligence from the US-Australia Pine Gap spy base.

Gumbaynggirr Dunghutti Bundjalung First Nations activist Elizabeth Jarrett urged the crowd to “keep coming back”, saying: “None of us will be free until Palestine is free”.

At the Gold Coast march for Palestine on February 17, participants carried a scroll with the names of children who had been murdered by Israel.


Protesters holding the scroll of names of children who have been murdered. Photo: Susan Price

Jacob Andrewartha reports that almost 10000 protesters joined the Palestine rally in Naarm/Melbourne on February 18, marching from the State Library to occupy the Flinders Street Station intersection. It was the biggest protest so far this year.


Naarm/Melbourne on February 18. Photo: Jordan AK

Opposition to Israel’s bombing of Rafah was an important focus. Speakers criticised the Anthony Albanese government’s February 14 statement as completely inadequate, with the protesters calling for a permanent ceasefire.

John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father, was one of the featured speakers. He reminded the protest about the prospect of Assange being extradited to the United States and never seeing the the light of day again. His “crime” was to publish material showing US war crimes in Iraq.


Naarm/Melbourne on February 18. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha

Free Palestine Geelong’s Bringing Back Love – Fly a Kite for Palestine on February 18 attracted families, many of whom had made their kites the day before with the assistance of the Free Palestine Geelong Platform Arts and Islamic Society of Geelong.


Kite making in solidarity with Gazan children. Photo: Sarah Hathway

Sarah Hathway reports the event showed solidarity with the children in Gaza, who are still making kites, despite the rubble, fear and hunger.

Alex Bainbridge reports from Meanjin/Brisbane that around 1500 rallied and marched on February 18, a bigger rally compared to the previous one.

Rally chair Remah Naji called out the Australian government's description of Israel as a "friend" in the recent joint statement with New Zealand and Canada. "People who commit genocide are not our friends!"


All eyes on Rafah
All eyes on Rafah, Meanjin/Brisbane, February 18. Photo: Alex Bainbridge


End the occupation
End the occupation, lead banners in Meanjin/Brisbane. Photo: Alex Bainbridge


Stop the genocide
Stop the genocide, Meanjin/Brisbane. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

See more photos on the Green Left Facebook page.

[To get involved in solidarity with Palestine check the Green Left calendar listing in your city.]

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