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Suffering and killing in Gaza must stop now

Plan International Australia Media Release

STATEMENT: The horror and trauma children are facing in Gaza right now is indescribable and unconscionable – suffering and killing must stop now.

After a pause in fighting for just one week, Plan International is devastated by the resumption of violence in Gaza over the weekend and the shocking number of civilians and children being killed in a matter of days.

Following the week-long pause and the release of 110 hostages from Gaza and 240 Palestinian prisoners, hopes held out by humanitarian agencies of a permanent and lasting ceasefire were crushed when Israel’s bombardments across the Gaza Strip resumed on Friday 1 December.

More than 500 civilians – including children – have been killed since bombing resumed, according to the Palestinian health ministry, as of Monday 4 December. Of those killed, 70% been women and children. The UN says more than 1.9 million people in Gaza are now displaced from their homes.

This sudden escalation of violence reverses the limited gains made in terms of humanitarian assistance during the pause. The devastating number of deaths, total destruction of health facilities and lack of basic sanitation and clean water, and other lifesaving and life-sustaining infrastructure and materials bring a grave risk of more children dying of disease and starvation. Sustained bombing is causing emotional distress and trauma amongst children that no words can truly explain.

With Israel expanding its ground military operations in the south of the Gaza Strip on Sunday, millions of people who had previously fled from the north have been left with nowhere to go. The health system in Gaza has now collapsed and UNICEF staff have described the few hospitals that remain in operation as “warzones”.

There is never any justification for the killing or maiming of children. In war and conflict, children are always innocent and must not be targeted. The horror and trauma children are facing in Gaza right now is indescribable and unconscionable.

While limited humanitarian assistance is being provided, the intensifying violence makes the situation in Gaza immensely dangerous for humanitarians and civilians alike.

Plan International is closely monitoring the situation in Gaza and is preparing to scale up operations through our offices in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon and through local partners. Plan International Egypt are supporting the Egyptian Red Crescent to deliver supplies including food and first aid kits via the Rafah crossing, while Plan International Jordan have signed an MoU with Terre Des Hommes to support their work in Gaza. In the south of Lebanon, where cross-border tensions have led to widespread internal displacement, Plan International Lebanon are providing a range of support to displaced children and their families including non-food items, food, and household hygiene kits.

With the two-month mark of this terrible escalation of violence approaching, Plan International continues to call on all parties involved for an unconditional, immediate, sustained and complete ceasefire and improved humanitarian access. We also call for the release of all civilian hostages and Palestinian children held as prisoners.

About Plan International 

Plan International is the charity for girls’ equality. Working across 83 countries, we tackle the root causes of poverty, support communities through crises, campaign for gender equality, and help governments do what’s right for children and particularly for girls. We believe a better world is possible. An equal world; a world where all children can live happy and healthy lives, and where girls can take their rightful place as equals. 

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  1. RomeoCharlie

    It really is time the world acted to stop Israel’s genocide. This unimaginable slaughter of non combatants is unconscionable and cannot be justified by any criteria. It is past time for Israel’s supporters, including Australia, to say enough. Stop now. Those who support Israel in its disgraceful actions are equally culpable. Not just an ordinary criminal, Netanyahu is a war criminal and if he isn’t gaoled for his crimes against his own people he should face the International court.

  2. Keitha Granville

    Everybody was on Israel’s side after the massacre and kidnap by Hamas. Nobody can be on their side now – total destruction of Gaza in their relentless revenge on Hamas is not acceptable. It is time for the world to tell them.

    I’m with you RomeoCharlie

  3. Roswell

    I’m also with Romeo. He speaks my language.

  4. Bo

    It was never about getting rid of HAMAS or exacting delinquent revenge. The physical destruction and torture of Palestinians looks like a feign for a bigger objective. And not just a land grab. The Zionists have laid a trap for the West, backing into a corner those nations siding with Israel.
    Our experiment with building a multi-cultural society is being set up as a fail by our spineless politicians and media analysts who refuse to withdraw support from Israel and its real-time genocide.
    One potential upside is that, rather than a breakdown of society, there’s a chance that the fault-line the Zionists wish to exploit, the Christian-Muslim divide, will unite against the common enemy – Labor and LNP.

  5. Georgie

    Suspicious that Netanyahu ‘knew’ about the Hamas plan. Did he let it happen to give him the excuse to both save his own skin (not risk jail) and empty Gaza for the Israeli people to move into.
    Biden is being led by the nose but understandable that he doesn’t want to lose the Jewish vote and let Trump win

  6. Douglas Pritchard

    I know its not popular to highlight this, but since the Hamas breakout from the worlds most densly populated outdoor prison, there has been a completely diabolical attack on the west bank. Thousands of Palestinians have been both imprisoned and killed while the world bangs on about a token number of “hostages”, stored in Gaza.
    This is simply the most recent purge of Palestinians, in a very public way.
    “We do what we can get away with” said the barbarians.
    The very idea of a two state solution is a complete illusion when the side with the most firepower will ignore any borders to maim and kill at will. Motivation is said to be religious?
    From the get go we are asked to believe Mossad was taken by surprise, and while we give father Xmas a tick, then this is just as likely.
    When our government goes overboard with the “right to exist”, and believes it knows who the terrorists are, we are in the midst of some very strong language about a handful of terrorists who may have jumped our borders, and that verbal stash means we fail to call out the real offenders in this world.
    If Jews throughout the world feel a little less safe, I think i can suggest the reasons behind that.

  7. Andrew Smith

    Issue for ‘peace’ in Gaza which anyone wants, is not just Hamas and/or Netanyahu (to cease fighting), but how to develop a sustainable way forward, short and long term, that includes neighbours, not just (blame) the ‘west’, Zionism, EU or the US while, Islamophobic and anti-semitic far right supports Palestine?

    Without regional cooperation and support nothing will change on ‘peace’, there could still be ‘codependent narcissism’ of Netanyahu far right regime and Hamas’ nihilism (former less likely to survive due to civil protest), with their mutual ally in the background i.e. Putin; two fragile leaderships.

    Related to the timing of Hamas attacks, planned Saudi-Israel agreement, Putin is visiting UAE and Saudi today; the latter’s MBS gifted Trump’s son in law and friend of Netanyahu, Kushner $2bn (helping to avoid blow back for Saudi’s Khashoggi murder in Istanbul?); much complexity in a complex region and wheels within wheels.

  8. New England Cocky

    @ RomeoCharlie: I stand with you on this matter.

    The Netanyahu Nakba has the stated military intention of ”driving all the Palestinians into the sea”. Reason? So that Palestinians are dispossessed and displaced, preferably out of Israel and into the Egyptian desert where international aid agencies would have humanitarian responsibilities for the refugees ….. forever and a day.

    Then would come the funding for restructuring from Arab & European banks clearing away the wreckage and re-building for the expected influx of Zion@zis running form the Russia v Ukraine war or other places considered unfavourable. Sounds very like the genocide policies of the German government 1933 to 1945.

    Meanwhile the horrors of the Warsaw Ghetto are inflicted upon the Palestinians by the same religious group that suffered back in the 40s.

  9. ajogrady

    Agree NEC and RomeoCharlie.

    Not only have Zionists cruely stolen Palestinian land but Zionists have callously stolen the Jewish religion.
    Now US corporate media outlets allow IDF to vet ‘all materials’ from embedded reporters in Gaza. “Israel is killing the journalists that expose their crimes, then bribing the journalists that cover for them,” said one critic.
    U.S. journalist Dan Cohen asserted that “CNN is explicitly acting as a propaganda mouthpiece for the genocidal Zionist regime.”
    U.S. photojournalist Zach D. Roberts said on social media that “what CNN is doing here is creating ad b-roll for the IDF. It’s nothing resembling news and the CNN employees that participated in it aren’t anything resembling journalists.”

  10. Roswell

    Nothing much has been said about that, Georgie. Don’t know why.

  11. Douglas Pritchard

    Roswell, Plenty is being said about that in certain quarters.
    (maybe someone has their tongue well and truly in their cheek here?)
    But there seems to be an overwhelming amount of ‘News” presented in a fashion designed to deflect from, what is, plain common sense.
    Israel is your first port of call for anything to do with snooping on folk, and they field test all this stuff on the Palestinian people. Thats hardly news.

  12. Terence Mills

    There is now some doubt that the so called Hamas attack into Israeli territory on 7 October may not have been a co-ordinated and planned Hamas attack at all.
    It may well have been a rogue group loosely affiliated with Hamas who were acting independently without the knowledge or approval of Hamas. Why would Hamas co-ordinate an attack that would have no real impact on the Israeli administration but would bring about a massive retribution from the Israeli
    authorities : there was nothing that Hamas could achieve from such an attack.

    What is now happening is genocide, defined as the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.

    Usually any talk of genocide is immediately rebuffed as anti-semetic : let’s not forget that the term semite includes Arabs and Palestinians.

  13. Roswell

    Good to hear, Douglas.

    It’s totally ignored by the Australian mainstream media. I guess they have their own agenda.

  14. Roswell

    Not surprised by that news one little bit, Terry.

  15. New England Cocky

    @ Georgie, Roswell: There was a single item about Netanyahu & IDF being advised in advance that an attack was being planned, but this was dismissed because the IDF & Mossad under-estimated the ability of Hamas to organise & conduct such an offensive.

    The Murdoch Media Monopoly failed to report this fact in support of increasing the profits for the American NE military industrial complex of arms manufacturing corporations. Well, ya gotta look after your mates best interests, haven’t you??

  16. leefe

    They would do it because they would have a very good idea of how the Israeli government would react, and that reaction would be guaranteed to get them international sympathy and make a terrifiic recruitment tool.
    It doesn’t make sense only if you assume that Hamas actually care about Palestinian people. They don’t. They are ideologues every bit as much as Netanyahu and the Zionist extremists. It is their stated aim to destroy Israel and kill all Jewish people; they don’t care what it takes.

    Hamas=/= Palestine any more than Netanyahu and the IDF = Israel.

    That is totally believable.

  17. George Theodoridis

    Oh, don’t mistake Gaza for a prison! It is a camp. The final camp. The death camp!

  18. George Theodoridis

    The ancient Spartans used to conduct an annual “culling” of their slaves, the helots, so that the comparative numbers, Spartans-to-helots were manageable for the Spartans. It kept the revolutions down to a minimum. Different purpose to that of the Zionists today whose “mowing the lawn” euphemism takes a sharply different path and is conducted far more savagely, though the euphemism of this dire practice is most clearly wrongly named. The zionists are not mowing the lawn but deliberately uprooting it. They don’t want that lawn at all. In fact, they want no lawn, rather, they want smashed concrete, twisted steel, broken glass and everything else that is non-human and inhumane, and to obtain this wish, they are building mountains of human blood and gore and filling their air with groans of pain, the cries of innocent little babies who have no idea what is going on and of stunned children; and they clog it also with the anguish of a people who have no idea how to escape their torture and death nor why the world is sitting on its hands pretending nothing is happening. I remember T.S Eliot’s line, “In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo.”

    I remember also an ABC reporter (alas, I forgot his name) who, reporting on the last “lawn mowing,” observed smugly, “the smart ones (ie Palestinians) should leave.” It is that ubiquitous smugness, ubiquitous on the faces of the brutes when talking about brutality, that sickens one to the core and angry that challenges one’s anger management method.

    Perhaps another study should be conducted as to the causes of war. I think it now highly probable that the findings, to a large extent would point to avarice. Simple greed. Herodotus and Thucydides give us a couple of excellent examples of that flaw in the human character and so does the New Testament. Look for it in the story of Judas Iscariot. His relationship to his teacher is quite engaging. But he atoned in some measure. I see no fig tree standing in waiting here.

    There is always some resource or other that some country possesses and another wants and the second is prepared to employ any means, no matter how savage, to steal it from the first. There are other reasons also, of course. One might argue that Alexander the Great attacked Persia (and most of the world inhabiting the East) because Persia had attacked Greece twice, with huge numbers (Comparable to say, for example the Zionists against the Palestinians) not too long before he launched his attack (490BCE and 480BCE). Yes, there is the cause of revenge and of destroying your enemy preemptively, lest he raises up again and responds with a bloated vengeful choler.
    And then there is that view that says “my God is better than your God and my God will save your soul,” or, “my God has ordered me to kill you” or even the one of a “choosing God” or of the Real Estate agent God.

    There is an overabundance of oil beneath the sea-bed adjacent to Gaza.

    I cry a lot these days.

  19. Roswell

    George, one of the wonderful things about history is that it tells us so much about the present.

  20. Steve Davis

    George, thank you for your thoughts.

  21. andyfiftysix

    leefe, one of the tenents of modern warefare is misinformation and demonisation of the enemy. ” It is their stated aim to destroy Israel and kill all Jewish people”. this statement may be beleivable in a vacuum but because its trumpeted load and clear by the israeli government, i would say it has great propaganda value. The more you are scared , the more you will beleive the mantra, true or not. So i would say, its a deliberate ploy to misinform and demonise the palestinians. yes i am a sceptic, but there is value in not beleiving propaganda.

  22. George Theodoridis

    Thank you Roswell and Steve. You are totally correct, Roswell: History tells us an enormous amount about the present. I was very taken by Daedalus in James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”
    “History,” the young History teacher said, “is a nightmare from which I am trying to awaken.”
    A nightmare because it is a horse whipped by an agenda. It is a horse that obeys the directions of alternating pilots. It is a horse that has no sovereignty.

  23. Roswell

    George, I was interested to hear that “history” came from the Greek word “hister”, meaning “to write”.

    Is that correct?

  24. George Theodoridis

    Not quite, Roswell. The word is related more to an inquiring mind, a wise mind. Herodotus’ book, is titled”Histories” which means “Inquiries” which is what it’s about. Herodotus goes about asking questions because what tickled his mind was “what was the cause of the Persian wars.” It is a book which lists all the questions he had asked people all around Greece, Western Persia, northern Africa (Egypt) and elsewhere. He finds that the two wars had their roots in the abduction of Helen and wonders why on earth would that be such a big thing. Girls and young women were constantly been abducted by both sides and by many others. Merchant ships would arrive at different harbours, the girls were curious (remember that the character ingredient that Zeus (via Hephaestus) gave Pandora -THE Mould of womanhood- and climbed aboard and, before they knew it, the ship would sail away. A very common thing and nobody cared too much. So Herodotus wanted to know what made the Greeks so angry and wrote his encounters with people.
    The word has to do with inquiry, curiocity, which is both a flaw and a gift. Remember, Pandora removed the seal of the gift-jar wherein all the ills of the world were trapped. Zeus knew her curiosity will have all those ills scattered all around Earth.
    There is History (in the modern sense) between Zeus and Prometheus who made the first man, aftyer which, Zeus asked Prometheus to tell man to obey the gods but Prometheus refused. Zeus got very angry so he hid the fire in his chambers (Various iterations of that) and Prometheus stole it and gave it to man. Prometheus had a brother, Epimetheus who was getting married to Pandora, which Zeus used to try and destroy man. Zeus also punished Prometheus by chaining him n a rock in Tartarus. An eagle would come during the day, peck brutally at his liver which would recover during the night, ready for the torment first thing in the morning, until Heracles intervene… veeeery long story!
    But History means, to make it pithy, “clever questioning.”

  25. Roswell

    Thank you, George. Very interesting. I enjoyed that.

    I’m also glad I’m wrong, as it means my old boss was wrong. Was a bit of a know all, that boss.

  26. andyfiftysix

    in today’s paper.

    “Giora Eiland, a former head of the Israeli national security council, wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper: “The state of Israel has no choice but to turn Gaza into a place that is temporarily or permanently impossible to live in. Creating a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a necessary means to achieve the goal … Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist.”

    So palestinians will be driven out of more land. No choice? Always a choice but in this case, no choice means the cult of the promised land cannot be questioned.

    its so obvious what the hidden agenda is, just look at whats happening on the ground and what all these statements are intent on acheiving. Why is the media focusing on Hamas and their cruelty when the perpetrators of the ongoing crisis are allowed to dictate terms free of any questioning?

    The world’s two-state policy is hereby shown to be in tatters. A fig leaf. A poor excuse for doing nothing or turning a blind eye . We too are part of the cult. Did we not help to establish the “promised land”?

    The only solution is the dismantling of the cult of the promised land. It was always thus……

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