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Australian Jewish group says Gaza invasion 'inhuman'

world Updated: Jan 06, 2009 10:52 IST

AFP
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More than 100 Australian Jews, including two authors and a former federal minister, condemned Israel's invasion of Gaza in a statement on Tuesday, describing the action as "inhuman" and "abominable."

"We are Australian Jews who join thousands in Israel and around the world condemning ongoing Israeli military attacks on Gaza," the signatories said.

"Together with Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, we condemn the current war as 'inhuman, superfluous' and 'abominable.'"

The group, which includes the Australian environment minister from 1972-1975 Moss Cass, novelists Linda Jaivin and Sara Dowse and Australian Greens politician Ian Cohen, acknowledged Israel's right to protect itself.

But it said rockets launched from the Palestinian territory into Israel could not be used to justify the "grossly disproportionate military assault on Gaza," saying Israel had violated a fragile truce with Hamas in November.

The group said the Israeli attacks would not bring about peace.

"On the contrary, the assault on the population of Gaza will only inflame hatred of Jews and of the state of Israel while doing nothing to protect the lives of Israelis," they said.

"Above all, it will undermine the prospects of joining with peace-seeking Palestinians to negotiate a lasting, just solution to the conflict."

The signatories called for an immediate end to the attacks on civilians by Palestinians and Israelis.