Rockets are launched from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel by Palestinian fighters, on 07 November 2023. EFE/EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

300 lawyers in Australia call on Canberra to lobby for Israel-Gaza ceasefire

Sydney, Australia, Nov 8 (EFE).- More than 300 lawyers in Australia on Wednesday signed an open letter calling on the government to exert its influence to guarantee a ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank in order to stop the war that it says has exceeded the “limits” of armed conflict and other laws.

“There is mounting evidence that atrocity crimes have been committed. Atrocity crimes are considered to be the most serious crimes against humankind. Their status as international crimes is based on the belief that the acts associated with them affect the core dignity of human beings,” the letter read.

“The well-accepted limits of international law, human rights law, and the law of armed conflict have been exceeded.”

The letter addressed to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Defense Minster Richard Marles, called upon the government “urgently to exert its influence to secure a ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank, and to ensure urgently the adequate provision of food, fuel, medicine and other humanitarian assistance to Gaza, and the unconditional restoration of water and electricity.”

It also urged Canberra to “work toward ending Israel’s illegal permanent occupation of Palestine,” help secure the release of hostages, halt defense exports to Israel, specify what military-specific goods were provided to the country with 322 export permits granted between Jan. 1, 2017 and Mar. 31, 2023, and clarify whether these are being used in accordance with international law.

The letter, signed by lawyers including International Commission of Jurists Victoria chair Guy Gilbert, denounced the deaths and other atrocities in the conflict, as well as the trauma caused to Israelis and Palestinians, their diaspora and other communities in Australia and the rest of the world.

In Australia, the Israeli and Palestinian communities have carried out various acts of solidarity with their respective communities, while Canberra has evacuated its citizens from the conflict zone amid pressure and criticism from some political and civil sectors.

Among the detractors are the representatives of the Green Party, who staged a walkout of the Senate on Monday demanding the government call for a ceasefire. In addition, one of its senators, David Shoebridge, is promoting a petition on social networks to demand that the government stop military exports to Israel.

Israel declared war on Hamas on Oct. 7 after an assault by the Islamist group that killed more than 1,400 and took more than 240 hostage, while the subsequent Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip has killed more than 10,300 people, injured almost 26,000 and left 2,450 missing. EFE