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Protestors oppose Israel’s ceasefire on Gaza, demand action

The action was organised by Palestine Action Group to oppose Israel’s Operation Breaking Dawn.

Photo by Ishbel Dunsmore.

Around one hundred protesters gathered at Town Hall on Saturday to condemn the Israeli state’s ceasefire on Gaza and pay respects to the Palestinians who were martyred.

The Palestine Action Group organised the emergency rally in response to Israel’s Operation Breaking Dawn, which killed roughly 43 civilians over the past week.

Palestine Action Group activist Damian Ridgewell facilitated the rally andwelcomed the dissenters by providing history of Israel’s “mitigated massacre of Palestinian policy on the Gaza strip”.

“Last weekend, 49 Palestinians were killed in an indiscriminate bombing by the apartheid state of Israel, out which 17 were children. After the ceasefire in Gaza, Israel again attacked Nazareth, killing three people and injuring hundreds of resistance fighters,” he said.

Operation Breaking Dawn is a successor of the 2019 Israeli campaign Operation Black Belt against Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine. According to the Israeli Defence Force, the build-up to the ceasefire and assassination of Palestine Islamic Jihad leader Tayseer Jabbari was to “thwart planned attacks against Israelis”.

Australian Palestine Advocacy Network’s Rand Khatib addressed the rally to shed light on the inequality of the conflict.

“The battle is between the Israeli judicial systems and the mothers who are pleading for their sons to be released from political prisons,” she said.

She also criticised the Albanese government for sending a “whopping $385 million against Russia’s unwarranted aggression against Ukraine”, but staying allies with Israel despite all the attacks. 

“Were we born on the wrong continent in order to earn your sympathies?” Khatib asked, demanding the same amount of support for Palestine as their European counterparts.

USyd SRC Global Solidarity Officer Jasmine Al-rawi spoke about the “impunity for Israel” by nations and allies who do not hold the state accountable.

“Joe Biden called the attack on Palestinians a tragedy and called for an investigation. There is no need for an investigation when the criminals are the military which the US has constantly funded for deadly weapons attacking innocents,” Al-rawi concluded.

Fahad Ali, Molecular biologist and NTEU presidential candidate Fahad Ali listed the names of all the children and elderly that were killed in the operation. 

“These fourteen children are just a fraction of the two-thousand children that the apartheid state has killed over a decade,” he reminded everyone.

Ali talked about the upcoming Israel elections and the intention of the state to “win domestic support by launching an unprovoked attack on Gaza”. He said that the ethnic cleansing project of the regime is no secret and described how the current Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid once mentioned how he wants to “get rid of all Arabs”. 

He also drew parallels between Australia and Israel’s “shared values” of ethnic cleansing and misery of their Indigenous people by calling out institutions like RMIT, which has collaboration with Elbit, Israel’s largest privately-owned arms manufacturer that tests its weapons on Palestinian land.

Ali spoke optimistically about the “pro-Israel consensus is beginning to collapse as billions of dollars spent on rehabilitating Israel’s image failed on return on investment”. He also encouraged everyone to get involved in the movement supporting Palestinians and Aboriginal communities in both tangible and intangible ways.

The crowd then marched around Town Hall area as Palestinian elders, activists and protesters waved the Palestinian flag.

“Israel, USA, how many children have you killed today?” protesters chanted.