Hundreds of public servants from across Australia and across state and federal agencies have signed an open letter calling for the federal government to “immediately cease all military exports to Israel”.

Iran Press/ West Asia: The letter, signed by more than 300 people, notes a warning from UN experts in February that the transport of weapons or ammunition to Israel to be used in Gaza is likely to violate international humanitarian law.

The warning named Australia as an exporter of weapons to Israel, a claim the government denies. In February the defence minister, Richard Marles, said there had “no exports of weapons from Australia to Israel and there haven’t been for many, many years”. In November, the foreign minister, Penny Wong, said Australia “has not supplied weapons to Israel since the start of the Hamas-Israeli conflict”.

A majority of those who signed the letter work for federal and state government departments, with others working in local government.

“As public servants whose work is to serve our communities, it is our obligation to voice our deep concern that you are leading Australia to be complicit in an additional genocide, an additional colonial project, staining this nation with more war crimes – even more than it lays claim to already – and, in negligence of the public we serve, these war crimes are again in the service of foreign powers,” the letter states.

“We call on the Australian government to take swift and decisive action to end its support of the genocide, ethnic cleansing and illegal occupation of Palestine by immediately ceasing all military exports to Israel.”

The letter is endorsed by a range of organisations, including the Australia Palestine Advocacy network, Unionists for Palestine and the Palestine Justice Movement Sydney.

This is while, fierce street fighting and Israeli bombardment continue in Rafah a day after tanks rolled into the centre of the southern Gaza city sheltering hundreds of thousands of civilians. Israeli strikes have killed at least 37 Palestinians, most in tents.


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