The peak body representing Australian Imams has called on the Australian Government to use its influence to stop the killing of Gazans by Israel in its latest offensive.

The Australian National Imams Council, ANIC in a statement issued on Friday 11 July, condemned the latest military assault by the Jewish state that has resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people and almost 1000 people injured so far.

ANIC believes that the Palestinian people are being subjected to “collective punishment” for the unrealistic excuse of the kidnapping and subsequent death of three Israeli settlers.

It has called on the international community to call for a stop to this unjust and unwarranted aggression against people of Gaza.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay said that the Israeli missile strikes on Gaza violate international law prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” She said.

Palestinian sources claim that at least 200 houses have been bombed by Israel since  last Tuesday and that most of the fatalities have come as a result of the house bombings.

Israel’s strikes into Gaza followed a buildup in violence after three Israeli students were killed in the occupied West Bank last month and a Palestinian youth was killed in a  revenge attack in Jerusalem by Israeli settlers.

Palestinian rocket fire escalated after Israeli forces arrested hundreds of Hamas activists in the West Bank while searching for the youths, who Israel claimed were abducted and killed by Hamas.

Full Statement from ANIC