ACTU Executive calls for increased action to ensure an urgent and lasting ceasefire in Gaza

International - February 23, 2024

RESOLUTION: ACTU Executive calls for increased action to ensure an urgent and lasting ceasefire in Gaza

The Australian Union movement is a movement of peace and respect for all races and nationalities. We oppose war, racism and oppression. We act in solidarity.

With the horrific escalation of violence and death toll of innocent civilians the ACTU reiterates the ACTU statement of 19 October 2023 following the attacks launched against Israel from Hamas on the 7th October and calls for an urgent ceasefire and the immediate release of all hostages.

The Australian Union movement condemns the attacks on civilians, and is horrified at the deaths of over 27,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis, and the displacement of over 1.7 million people. All parties must give primacy to the protection of civilian lives.

ACTU Executive is deeply alarmed and opposes the targeting of the southern Gaza city of Rafah by Israel, where more than 1 million people – at least half of Gaza’s population – fled seeking shelter.

ACTU Executive reiterates the call from Global Unions for unified action following the ICJ ruling on the Gaza genocide case, and urges Israel to comply with the ICJ’s Order to take immediate steps to prevent acts of genocide, punish incitement to genocide, and facilitate the provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza.

ACTU Executive joins the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in calling for all sides, and the international community, to act for peace. There must be an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire, and the creation of humanitarian corridors to allow humanitarian aid into Palestine unimpeded.

The ACTU Executive notes the Australian Government suspended funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and that UNRWA has dismissed 9 employees accused of involvement in the Hamas attack of 7th October 2023 and the matter is being independently reviewed.

ACTU Executive calls on the Australian Government to exercise all avenues of influence and diplomacy to stop the bombing and the ground assault by Israel into Gaza and work for an immediate and lasting ceasefire.

ACTU Executive calls on the Australian Government to urgently reinstate the funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The cessation of funding to UNRWA – the main humanitarian actor in Gaza that provides critical support to Palestinians – by sixteen countries has serious ramifications for humanitarian operations in Gaza, further adding to the crisis by putting millions of Palestinian people’s lives and wellbeing in jeopardy.

ACTU Executive welcomes the $21.5 million funding provided to Gaza, the West Bank and the region to date by the Australian Government, and endorses the calls of the Australian aid sector in calling for new and additional funding of $100 million of humanitarian assistance to Gaza and the West Bank.

This latest escalation is part of a decades-long conflict that must be brought to a just outcome through dialogue and respect for international law, including human rights.

The ACTU calls for an end to the occupation of Palestine and a just and sustainable peace in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. Including the removal of illegal settlements, the withdrawal of Israel from all Palestinian lands along with the dismantling of the separation wall. In line with the ACTU’s commitment to a two-state solution with the security of borders for both nations, we call on all countries to recognise, without delay, Palestine as a sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital. This will confirm the right of the Palestinian people to self- determination in a free and independent Palestine.

The Australian Union movement stands in solidarity with the Israeli and Palestinian victims of violence and calls for an immediate ceasefire.

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