‘Cease All Military Exports to Israel’ – Australian Public Servants Urge Government

More than 700 public servants from across Australia have condemned what it calls the government’s complicity in Palestinian genocide. (Design: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Since 2017, Australia has issued over 350 military export permits to Israel  – and new data from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reveals that Australia has, during the current atrocities, increased its arms exports to Israel, according to the letter.

More than 700 public servants from across Australia have condemned what it calls the government’s complicity in Palestinian genocide and called for an immediate halt to military exports to Israel.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and all government members, the public servants said they acknowledged “the harm done to First Nations peoples by government agencies and policies, both in the past and ongoingly.”

“It is our obligation to voice our deep concern that you are leading Australia to be complicit in an additional genocide, an additional colonial project, staining this nation with more war crimes – even more than it lays claim to already – and, in negligence of the public we serve, these war crimes are again in the service of foreign powers,” the letter stated.

It stressed: “We call on the Australian Government to take swift and decisive action to end its support of the genocide, ethnic cleansing and illegal occupation of Palestine by immediately ceasing all military exports to Israel.”

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‘Complicit in Criminal Warfare’

The public servants, employed in local, state and federal government said that aside from “the dishonour of assisting what the Commissioner General of UNRWA has termed ‘a war on children’, Australia may now be violating international law and complicit in criminal warfare.”

The letter highlighted that in February 2024 United Nations experts specifically called on Australia to stop military exports to Israel, and in April the UN Human Rights Council adopted this as a resolution, calling upon all states “to cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel”.

It pointed out that Canada, Belgium, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands have already suspended arms exports to Israel.

“State officials who fail to stop exporting weapons or munitions to Israel may be criminally liable for aiding and abetting war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide, as warned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in March 2024,” the public officials said.

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Listed Demands

The letter demanded that the Australian Government:

  • Cease supplying all military parts and weapons to Israel, including components of the F-35 supply chain, and impose a two-way arms embargo on Israel
  • Cease providing reconnaissance support from the Pine Gap facility, from which the USA shares surveillance data with Israel
  • Cancel all contracts and cooperation with Israeli weapons suppliers, including its $917 million contract with Elbit Systems to supply components for the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicles
  • Disclose all information relating to the sale of military export licenses to Australian companies supplying weapons and weapons components to Israel directly and/or indirectly.

The letter said “tens of thousands” of Palestinian civilians “have been massacred with parts manufactured in Australia, with Australian intelligence support.”

It emphasized that “The bombs killing and maiming a population that is nearly 80% refugees  and nearly 50% children are dropped by F-35 warplanes with parts exclusively manufactured in Australia.”

Since 2017, according to the letter, “Australia has issued over 350 military export permits to Israel – and new data from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reveals that Australia has, during the current atrocities, increased its arms exports to Israel.”

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Millions in Arms Exports

In February 2024 alone, Australia exported over $1.5 million in ‘arms and ammunition’ to Israel, the letter said.

“This figure includes only guns, bullets, missiles, tanks and other weapons: it does not take into account the bulk of military goods Australia exports to Israel such as engines for drones and military-grade steel for armoured vehicles,” it said. “This figure also likely excludes weapons exported indirectly, such as F-35 parts channelled to Israel via other countries.”

According to the British newspaper, The Guardian, the country’s defence minister, Richard Marles said in February there were “no exports of weapons from Australia to Israel and there haven’t been for many, many years”.

The public servants also highlighted that the US-controlled Pine Gap surveillance base, hosted by Australia near Alice Springs, “supplies intelligence from Palestine to the Israeli military.”

It said satellites operated from Pine Gap look down on Southwest Asia, Africa and Europe, gathering huge amounts of surveillance data.

“After collecting and analysing this data, Pine Gap supplies it to Israel which uses it for its assault on Gaza and wider genocide.”

The letter is endorsed by a few organizations including BDS Australia, Unionists for Palestine and the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network.

Over 36,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 36,224 Palestinians have been killed, and 81,777 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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