ZFA and AIJAC call the rocket attacks war crimes

May 11, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Zionist Federation of Australia and AIJAC have c0mmented on the renewed rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and the unrest in Jerusalem and fully supports Israel’s right and duty to protect its citizens.

Jeremy Leibler

ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “Each of the hundreds of Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza and aimed at Israeli civilians is a war crime. Throwing paving stones at worshippers in the Western Wall plaza from the Temple Mount is indefensible, as was the pre-emptive storing of stones and stun grenades in al-Aqsa Mosque – a clear desecration of a holy place.”

He continued, “I don’t want to diminish the complexities surrounding the Sheikh Jarrah issue or the grievances held by residents of East Jerusalem but the incitement by Hamas and the PA to violent attacks on Israeli citizens is completely unacceptable and must be called out for what it is – terrorism. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are using a complex long-standing property dispute to inflame tensions and it seems as if the media as a whole are buying into that narrative”.

Mr Leibler concluded, “We stand with Israel as it attempts to protect its citizens.”

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today strongly condemned Hamas for the barrage of hundreds of rockets directed from Gaza at Israeli civilians, which caused injury and damage and forced hundreds of thousands of Israelis to stay in bomb shelters.

Mark Leibler

AIJAC chairman Mark Leibler commented, “The targeting of civilians is a war crime, and is never acceptable, but the latest violence is particularly egregious. Hamas has both orchestrated clashes in Jerusalem’s holy sites during Ramadan and cynically seized on the potential eviction of some Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah as the result of the outcome of a long-standing private court case over land ownership as pretexts to start a round of violence. However, as always, the underlying causes are this terror group’s refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist, and willingness to not only target Israeli civilians but cynically put the lives of Gaza’s civilians in danger to score political points.”

AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein added, “AIJAC notes that the incitement and violence has led to injuries and deaths, all of which were unnecessary and result in needless hardship, and expresses its sympathy to all those affected by Hamas’ indefensible actions, both Israeli and Palestinian,”

“Israel has the right and duty to defend all its citizens from attack, and while the death of any civilians is a tragedy, responsibility for any such deaths in Gaza must be sheeted home to Hamas, for orchestrating violence then firing rockets while concealing its military infrastructure embedded in civilian areas,” Rubenstein added.

“We call on the entire international community to condemn both the Hamas attacks and demand they cease, together with the incitement from Fatah and Hamas that preceded and continues to stoke the violence in Jerusalem,” Dr Rubenstein concluded.

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