RISE Statement on the siege and massacre of Gazans.

The past two months have been horrific for the people under siege in Gaza. They have historically attempted for several weeks to protest at the border of Israel’s 12 year air, sea and land blockage and demand their right of return to 1948 areas now occupied by Israeli suburbs, under The Great Return March. In peacefully protesting, they have been massacred by Israeli sniper live bullets and other weapons which have killed more than 112 of whom 13 were children (under 18) and 13,190 injured.

The people of Gaza are insisting on breaking out of the siege and just day before yesterday, they sailed on a Freedom Flotilla ship with many of the injured to reach Cyprus and access medical care denied from entry into Gaza. Israel intercepted and seized this ship.

RISE stands unequivocally in support of the two million residents of Gaza in their demands for the siege to end immediately, who should not have to endure a brutal and dehumanising blockade which is the largest open air prison in the world.

We strongly believe that all refugees should be able to escape dangerous, unlivable conditions and seek asylum, yet the people in Gaza are forced to endure live ammunition and airstrikes for having the audacity to demand a life of safety and dignity.

We see Australia’s complicity in its belligerent UN vote against an investigation into Israel’s latest massacre as further reason to support the Sanction Australia campaign.

Our primary aim is to sanction Australia from participating in international refugee humanitarian decision making and human rights forums until The End of Mandatory Detention, The End of Refoulement and The End of Refugee Boat Turn back policies.

We do not see a difference between Australia’s white supremacist mandatory detention policy, and Israel’s zionist occupation, illegal settlements, blockade and seizing of Gazan ships. The parallels reveal clearly why Australia would use its power to protect its settler colonial ally – Israel.

We express our solidarity with Palestinians, who have endured 70 years as a nation in exile, unable to return to their occupied lands.

We invite them and all supporters of freedom to join us in our Sanction Australia campaign until Australia improves its human rights record both on refugee and Palestinian rights.