Sunday 13 July. Canberrans today braved single digit temperatures and gathered at short notice on the lawns of the Parliament House in the nation’s capital to condemn the ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza. 

Co-organiser Diana Abdel-Rahman of the Australian Muslim Voice said she was “proud of Canberra”, thanked those who attended in their hundreds and stressed the importance of demonstrating solidarity with the people of Gaza after painfully reading out the names and ages of those who had been killed so far in the Israeli attack.

She attacked the recent flip-flop on the term “occupied” that the Federal Government had made a complete mess of in recent weeks which had made it “become a laughing stock” around the world.  She urged all Australians to support the Australian Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions Campaign for Palestine.

Also addressing the rally was Dr Kevin Bray from Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine who called for an end to the one-sided support by the United States for Israel at the behest of the pro-Israel lobby.  He also thanked the attendees, particularly the Muslims who were in the middle of their fast.

Izzat Abdulhadi, Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, also expressed appreciation for the support from the Canberrans and condemned the Israeli aggression.  He challenged the international community to respond quickly.

“What are they waiting for . . . . 1000 dead?” he asked. He stressed that the root cause is not the rockets from Gaza, “the root cause of the problem is the Israeli occupation, the settlements and the seige of Gaza”, he concluded as the rally chanted “Free Free Palestine” and “Shame Shame Israel”.

The rally concluded with Asr prayer and Salat al-ghaib for those who have died. 

Photography: Jumanah Husna

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