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Motion: Israel/Hamas

That this council—

1. Unequivocally condemns the attacks on Israel by Hamas, which are the heinous acts of terrorists, and have encompassed the targeting and murder of civilians, including women and children, the taking of hostages and indiscriminate rocket fire;

2. Stands with Israel and recognises its inherent right to defend itself;

3. Condemns antisemitism and recognises that generations of Jewish people have been subjected to this hateful prejudice;

4. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages;

5. Recognises that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people, nor their legitimate needs and aspirations;

6. Acknowledges the devastating loss of Israeli and Palestinian life and that innocent civilians on all sides are suffering as a result of the attacks by Hamas and the subsequent conflict;

7. Supports justice and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians alike;

8. Supports international efforts to establish and maintain humanitarian access into Gaza, including safe passage for civilians;

9. Reiterates Australia's consistent position in all contexts is to call for the protection of civilian lives and the observance of international law;

10. Acknowledges what has unfolded is deeply distressing for many in the South Australian community, close to the heart of many, and it is important that we maintain respect for each other here at home as people express their views;

11. Condemns all forms of hate speech and violent extremist activity, including antisemitism and Islamophobia;

12. Recognises an attack on any religion is an attack on all religions and that we all share a responsibility to unite, condemn and defeat such an attack on our common values and way of life; and

13. Affirms in the strongest possible terms that hateful prejudice has no place in South Australia.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:46): I rise to speak on this motion, and at the start I will move the amendment that has been circulated in my name:

Paragraph 2:

After 'itself' insert 'in accordance with international law'

The Greens wholeheartedly condemn the war crimes of Hamas. We grieve with Israelis and Palestinians alike, who have lost loved ones and experienced immeasurable hurt. We acknowledge that the grief of these communities grows daily due to the actions of Hamas and the Israeli state against each other's civilian communities.

The Greens reject and condemn all forms of violence, especially that against civilians. We call for an immediate ceasefire between all parties engaged in this conflict, an immediate halt to the forced removal and transfer of Palestinians in Gaza and an immediate end to the military siege.

We have an obligation to stop further bloodshed, and we must never forget that our goal must always be a just and lasting peace for both Israelis and Palestinians alike. I am proud that, last year, this council recognised the state of Palestine and called upon the Australian government to acknowledge Palestinians' right to statehood. There is no peace without justice, and there is no two-state solution without the recognition of those two states. Australia must not remain silent and be complicit in this invasion. There is no place here for antisemitism or Islamophobia.

The events of last week have rightfully moved many in the Australian community to voice their compassion and solidarity with all Israelis impacted by the 7 October attack and to offer help amid immense tragedy and trauma. The compassion and commitment to peace and justice demanded of all of us in moments such as these call on us to reject these acts of terrorism and blatant war crimes.

That same commitment to compassion, to honesty and to justice also requires us to recognise the war crimes committed by the state of Israel against the civilians of Gaza. In the wake of the 7 October attack, the state of Israel, rather than seek to respond with targeted operations designed to bring individual perpetrators to justice, in line with international law, has engaged in a ruthless campaign of collective punishment against the Palestinian civilians of Gaza.

The Israeli military has indiscriminately bombed civilians in their homes as they seek shelter, as they try to flee. There is no excuse, there is no justification, there can be no solidarity with such actions. That is not self-defence; that is a war crime. The Palestinians of Gaza live in the world's largest open-air prison. They live in an apartheid state. In the words of the United Nations Refugee Agency:

There is not one drop of water, not one grain of wheat, not a litre of fuel that has been allowed into the Gaza Strip for the last eight days.

The UN has declared the directions given by the Israeli military for evacuation orders in hospitals in northern Gaza a 'death sentence'. The Israeli state is deliberately shelling health facilities. They are targeting a population that is 40 per cent children. The Greens condemn the state of Israel's actions and agree with Labor minister the Hon. Ed Husic's assertion in recent hours that the Palestinians are being collectively punished for Hamas's barbarism, something they are not responsible for.

Australia must be part of an international push for peace and de-escalation. We must push for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the invasion of Gaza, and the holding to account of those who have committed war crimes. I indicate to the council, as I noted and moved at the start of this, that the Greens have moved an amendment to point 2, to specify that a right to defend one's country cannot be used to justify violence which holds innocent civilians captive in a war zone. Israel's right to defend itself cannot be taken as a blank cheque to carry out a massacre of the Palestinian people. The proposed amendment cites that this council stands with Israel's right to self-defence in accordance with international law.

We must work together to end the occupation of Palestinian territories to ensure the unconditional release of all hostages taken on the 7 October attack, and to ensure that all perpetrators of the attack are brought to justice in accordance with international law. There must be a removal of Israeli settlers and security forces from all Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including the land and sea blockade of Gaza.

We must work to ensure the equitable allocation of national resources, including water, and an end to the siege that now denies Palestinians access to even water, medicine or food as it is stockpiled at the borders, including in Egypt. We must work collectively to ensure full equality before the law for every person. We must respond to these horrors with compassion and courage to speak the truth. We must respond with honesty and an unflinching commitment to justice.

The imminent invasion of Gaza threatens to turn a humanitarian disaster into a humanitarian catastrophe, but a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians must always be our goal. We must be honest about the history that preceded what we are witnessing now. Failing to recognise this will only reinforce a cycle of violence in which civilians will always pay the highest price.

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