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PRESS RELEASE: ICV voices concerns about Australia’s policy shift on illegal Israeli settlement

Wednesday, November 27 2013

The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) notes the Abbott government’s recent abstention on a United Nations (UN) vote condemning the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine. The ICV is deeply concerned by this unflinching support for Israel despite its ongoing human rights abuses towards Palestinians and its breaches of international law.

As previous Foreign Minister Bob Carr noted, all settlements are considered illegal under international law and Australia has voted for the motion to condemn the expansion of illegal settlements in Palestine since 2008. The Abbott Government’s change in the official Australian position on this issue, without consultation, is disappointing, short sighted and counter to its own stated policy of supporting a two State solution.

The ICV notes that despite the rhetoric of the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, a position supporting increased illegal settlements encroaching on Palestinian land contrary to all international laws is completely at odds with supporting a two State solution and does nothing to convince the Palestinian people of Australian sincerity in this regard.

The ICV Secretary, Ghaith Krayem stated, “We are particularly concerned with the Abbott government’s secretive approach in changing Australia’s policy on illegal settlements. We expect a greater level of transparency and engagement with the Australian Palestinian community and other groups who recognise the ongoing human rights and international law breaches inflicted on Palestinians by Israel. “

The ICV considers this shift in policy on illegal settlements as a clear statement by the Abbott government demonstrating its lack of support for the Australian Palestinian community, the Palestinian cause and Palestinian aspirations for self-determination.

Mr Krayem stated further, “To change Australia’s policy in condemning the expansion of Israeli illegal settlements in Palestine is to deny the injustices Palestinians have faced for decades under Israeli occupation.”

ICV Secretary and spokesperson, Ghaith Krayem – M | 0438 328 502 | ghaith.krayem@icv.org.au

<end press release>
Media Enquiries: Bahriye Bol, ICV Communications Officer M|0432 572 163| bahriye.bol@icv.org.au
The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) is the peak body for Muslim organisations in Victoria. The ICV represents more than 150,000 Victorian Muslims, through its 47 member organisations located throughout metropolitan Melbourne and rural Victoria. Visit: http://www.icv.org.au

Source: ICV, download PDF

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