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News has broken that Israel has now followed its sustained air bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip, which has already killed at least 230 people, with a ground invasion. This weekend, rallies are being held in cities across Australia to rally for Palestine int he face of Israel's carnage (details below).
One petition I saw circulating recently called for both Israel and Hamas to put down their weapons. I dispute this approach that blames both sides equally. Israel is the aggressor. Not only is Israel bombing indiscriminately with a view to maximising civilian casualties, it continues to maintain its inhumane and illegal siege of Gaza. The kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teenagers was simply a pretext. There is no evidence that it was a Palestinian or a Hamas member who killed the teenagers. Israel has set itself as judge, jury and executioner. 
The Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has asked for another $104 million from the federal government to hold hearings until the end of 2017. The commission has released an interim report, for which they held more than 1600 private sessions and received more than 1600 written accounts from survivors of sexual abuse.
ABOUT 10,000 PEOPLE rallied in Melbourne on July 12 to protest against Israel's attack on Gaza. Samah Sabawi, a playwright, poet, political analyst and human rights advocate originally from Gaza, gave the speech below to the rally. *** As Israel continues its ruthless bombardment of the Gaza Strip, Palestinians in Gaza have been sending their messages to the world using social media. They want us to hear their voices and to carry them to those around us. I will start by honouring their request and sharing with you some of their messages.
The unofficially successful bid for presidency Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) is “unprecedented thus far in post-authoritarian Indonesia”, according to Dr Vannessa Hearman, a lecturer in Indonesian Studies at the University of Sydney. The bid survived a vicious anti-communist smear campaign by supporters of Jokowi's sole contender for presidency — the sacked former Suharto-era general Prabowo Subianto.
Joint statement by Asia-Pacific left organisations In the past week, Israeli military forces have escalated their offensive on the Gaza Strip. Israeli warplanes have increasingly targeted houses, civilian-populated areas and civilian facilities in the Gaza strip. Israeli warplanes have destroyed a number of houses while their residents were inside, without any prior warnings, killing and wounding many Palestinian civilians.

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