After increasingly indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza for three weeks and continuing, flattening thousands of  of buildings including residential apartments, mosques, schools, university and hospitals, Israel has commenced the ground invasion of Gaza with almost half a million strong invading force ready to decimate the two million impoverished Palestinians under siege for decades.

So far almost 10,000 Palestinians have been killed, around half of them children, with over 20,000 injured and almost half of the 2.3 million population of Gaza’s made homeless.

The UN and medical staff have warned that airstrikes are hitting closer to hospitals where 120,000 of thousands of Palestinians have sought shelter alongside thousands of wounded people. Israel has threatened to bomb the largest hospital in Gaza anytime soon.

Demonising the Palestinian resistant movement as ‘terrorists’ who successfully managed to shatter the myth of the invincibility of the Israeli military machine by breaking out of their ‘open-air prison’ on Saturday 7 October, Israel is justifying its revenge on the Gazan population for reported atrocities, some real and some fake committed by the fighters.

In a joint statement on Thursday 12 October, released soon after the hostilities began, supported by a large number of Australian Muslim organisations, the Australian government’s stance to ‘stand with Israel’ has been deplored while completely ignoring the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine.

“Australia should be pursuing avenues of peace and restraint when navigating civil conflicts, rather than supporting a decision to light up the Sydney Opera House and Parliament House Canberra with the colours of a colonising, invading, Zionist occupying regime,” the statement read.

At the same time the statement emphasised that Australian Muslims:

  1. Raise our deep concern about the grave situation in Palestine;
  2. Strongly reject and address the one-sided portrayal of the Palestinian issue in Australia; and
  3. Condemn all calls and incitement to violence and hatred of any people. This includes conduct that is anti-semitic, anti-Muslim or Islamophobic, and expressions of hatred.

Despite Israeli state and settler attacks against Palestinians escalating since the election of the current Israeli government, Israeli colonial violence has been a constant to Palestinians since the Nakba and the creation of the state of Israel.

“Occupation is violence. Israel hasn’t been defending itself, it’s been waging war on Palestinians, each and every day for decades,” said Nasser Mashni, President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN).

“The events of this week are a clear result of Israeli escalation – Israeli forces, including rampaging settlers, have killed Palestinians each and every day this year, just this week Israelis have invaded the most holy sites in Jerusalem; mobs of settlers have attacked Palestinian towns killing Palestinians while Israeli soldiers watch on. And this is on top of a 16 year illegal and inhumane siege on Gaza and 75 years of denial of Palestinian freedom, right of return and self determination” added Nasser Mashni.

Children run for cover as bombs fall near the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on October 9. Samar Abu Elouf/The New York Times/Redux.

Western leaders from Biden, Sunak, Trudeau to Albanese, have provided a textbook response as they rushed to affirm their support for “Israel’s right to defend itself”, ignoring all of the injustices perpetrated against the Palestinians, for the last week, the last year and the last 75 years.

The glaring hypocrisy and double standard applied by the Western media and politicians who celebrate the heroism of the Ukrainian resistance against Russia yet condemns the Palestinians for using the same tactics.

Relatives of Palestinians killed on Saturday, October 7, mourn at the morgue of a hospital in Gaza. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

“The international community has failed the Palestinians. 75 years after the establishment of the Israeli state and the Nakba, Palestinians are still stateless, still denied their right to return to their homes, and live under brutal and inhumane military occupation and apartheid. With talks of Saudi Arabia joining UAE, Morocco and Bahrain in normalising relations with Israel, and no just political solution for the Palestinians in sight – the devastating events of these last 48 hours are destined to continue”, concluded Mashni.