Published 18 October 202320 October 2023 · open letter / Palestine Youth Statement: Stop Israel’s genocide, end the war on Gaza Hirak Au ‘To the free spirits of the world, we draw our strength from the unity of oppressed people and derive our resolve from the unyielding faith in our right to reclaim our usurped land and recover our freedom’ – Youth of Occupied Palestine, Statement, October 13, 2023 ‘From the diverse Indigenous nations, languages, and clans that The Black Caucus represents all the way to Palestine and the regions impacted by the atrocities of the apartheid state, we will both be free’ – Black Caucus, October 15, 2023 As Palestinian youth living in the Australian colony, we are enraged and not surprised that the Australian settler government stands with Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza. We call on young people in so-called Australia to act to prevent the complete genocide of Palestinians in Gaza and mobilise to break the illegal siege on Gaza. We must compel the Australian settler government to work towards de-escalation and a dismantling of the Israeli settler-colonial project, its apartheid structures and occupation of Palestine. We have power and we must use it effectively to say never again to genocide, not on this Sovereign Indigenous land, not on Palestinian land. Sovereignty has never been ceded – the Australian settler-colonial government does not have the authority, legitimacy or consent for war on Palestine. We see the Australian settler colonial government’s complicity in the genocide of the people of Gaza as an expansion of its settler-colonial domination. As we draft this statement, we are having to update it hourly with massacre after massacre. This morning we woke up to the news that the Israeli settler colonial army has targeted the Al Ahli Arabi Hospital in Gaza, massacring over 500 Palestinians. We honour and mourn our martyrs. A press conference among piles of murdered and massacred Palestinians. I've never seen anything like this before. pic.twitter.com/hRLhGS5wA8 — روني الدنماركي (@Aldanmarki) October 17, 2023 We will not allow the world’s facilitation of a second Palestinian Nakba. We refuse the justification of genocide with blatant Australian lies blaming the hospital bombing on Hamas despite clear evidence that it was Israeli strikes that committed the massacre. The colonial Israeli, U.S., U.K., and Australian governments are weaponising Israeli victims of the Hamas attack to fuel a genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza, with no calls upon Israel to cease its military attack against the Palestinians of Gaza. Top Israeli military officials have pledged to ‘open the gates of hell’ upon Gaza, receiving no condemnation. Our Prime Minister Anthony Albanese this morning condemned “indiscriminate” attacks on civilian buildings, yet he has not condemned the genocide committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinians of Gaza. This Israeli colonial policy of revenge is a continuation of the Nakba, when in 1948, tens of thousands of Palestinians fleeing violence sought refuge in Gaza as their towns and villages were ethnically cleansed. This is the Israeli colony’s foundation. It’s a continuation of 75 years of Israeli settler colonialism, occupation, and Apartheid. The loss of Israeli lives is being used by our settler government to justify the rush to genocide, to provide moral cover for the immoral push for more weapons and more death. As Palestinian youth we are being harassed, our just demands expressed in large numbers across the colony misrepresented by the Australian settler government, the media, and by far too many Australian organisations who are either ‘United with Israel’ or regurgitating bothsidesism that whitewashes the fact of Israeli settler colonialism that is premised upon the elimination of Palestinians. In the last 10 days, more than 2,800 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, including more than 700 children. The Israeli government has relentlessly bombarded Palestinians across Gaza with western-supplied weapons, attacking civilians and their infrastructure; hospitals, schools, mosques, marketplaces, and apartment buildings mounting to a siege of the territory. It is displacing over 1 million Palestinians from Northern Gaza. As we write, the Israeli settler-colony has tightened the siege on Gaza and shut off all electricity to Gaza. There is no way out of Gaza, no safe corridor. Israel is bombing the border crossing, blocking food, water, aid, and essential supplies from entering the Gaza strip. Gaza’s only power plant that supports essential life services which depend on electricity, like hospitals, has now run out of fuel. The Israeli settler-colony has brazenly, publicly and openly declared their intentions to commit a war crime as they continue to escalate crimes against humanity, against 2.2 million unarmed people – half of whom are children. A ground invasion of our homeland Gaza, Palestine has begun, as Israel continues their bombing rampage using sophisticated weaponry, including banned chemical weapon white phosphorus. The Australian settler government is supporting the Israeli government’s atrocities. Anthony Albanese is backing genocide by asserting Israel’s right to defend itself. The Australian settler government has not criticised the revenge policy nor called for an end to Israel’s genocidal war. UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese has warned that the Israeli settler colony is executing a mass ethnic cleansing in Gaza while political leaders utter empty words of respect for international law that fail to identify the perpetrator. We call on all young people on this continent to stand with us and demand a stop the complete genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.We demand from Australian MPs to immediately defect from their abhorrent stance with the Israeli colony while it bombards, besieges and commits war crimes in Gaza. Will elected politicians in this colony stand with us against the ongoing arming of a regime that has been proven to commit ongoing crimes against humanity? The only option for peace and justice is decolonisation: an end to the 16 year illegal siege, an end to the racist structures of Apartheid, an end to the 75 year colonisation and occupation of Palestine. Palestinians have a right to resist the occupation. Freedom for the Palestinians is the way forward. We are shaken by the words of Mosab Abu Toha, poet and the founder of the Edward Said Library in Gaza: Right now, 10 children are in our house, the oldest my son, who will turn 8 soon, and the youngest Zeina. My mother has decided to ration the food, preparing two meals a day instead of three. I feel very saddened when I enter my library room on the third floor. I have chosen many books and placed them in order to read before the end of the year. I even counted how many books I have in my room and calculated how many years I need to finish them if I read daily. I need 56 years from now to read the books I have, provided I read 80 books a year. But with every Israeli bombing campaign, with every killing of civilians they carry out, the chance that I will finish even one book in my life becomes very slight. Our people deserve the world. Gaza will live. From Black Australia to Palestine, Genocide is a crime. Signed by Palestinian youth living in the Australian colony: Ali M Saif M Zaki M Tasnim Sammak Aseel Sammak Sondus Sammak Enas Sammak Anas Sammak Mai Sara Saleh Assala Sayara Lina Koleilat Amal Naser Jamal Nabulsi Hedayah Salamah Micaela Sahhar Khalid Al Bostanji Hasib Blaik Hourani Amin Abbas Majd Arabani Heba Sakak Ramzi Alajarmeh Al-Shayma Nahya Zaid Jubran Ghazawi Dana Bushra Othman Lina Breik Husnia Elbanna Ahmed Z Majd Arabani Gazzan Zakaria Seham Shahin Heba Sakak Feras Ahmed Ali Abdul Ali Image: Matt Hrkac Hirak Au Hirak Au is an Australia-wide Palestinian youth collective. https://www.instagram.com/hirak.au/ email@example.com More by Hirak Au › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. 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