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AIJAC welcomes Israel-Hamas ceasefire after 11 days of fighting

May 21, 2021 | AIJAC

(Credit: Roman Yanushevsky/ Shutterstock)
(Credit: Roman Yanushevsky/ Shutterstock)

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) welcomes the ceasefire in Israel and Gaza reached yesterday.

AIJAC deeply regrets the loss of civilian loss of life. Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs and foreign nationals were all killed by Hamas rockets indiscriminately fired from Gaza.

We also mourn the many innocent Palestinian civilians, cynically exploited yet again by Hamas as human shields, who have also been also victims of the past 11 days of fighting

Moreover, it now appears to be confirmed that at least 16 Gazans, including eight children, were killed by Hamas rockets that fell short on the first day of this conflict, and the total number of Palestinian victims of the hundreds of Hamas rockets that landed inside Gaza is likely to be higher.

AIJAC commends the Israel Defence Forces on their efforts to destroy Hamas military infrastructure and arsenal assets, while minimising civilian loss of life, including attempting to destroy approximately 100 kilometres of underground tunnels used by Hamas to build, store and transport weapons inside Gaza and to hide after attacks.

“This deadly conflict was provoked by a desperate Hamas focussed only on murdering Israeli civilians as a means of bidding for political power and Palestinian leadership, and uninterested in protecting its own people,” AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said.

“We learnt clearly during the past 11 days that Hamas has devoted huge resources to building vast tunnel networks to shelter its own fighters – and zero effort toward providing places for Gaza’s civilian residents to shelter in the conflicts Hamas continually provokes with Israel.

“Let us not forget that Hamas began this conflict by firing masses of missiles at Israeli on the evening of May 10 in an unprovoked attack. It’s a widely-proscribed terrorist group sworn to the destruction of Israel and backed and financed and armed by the Iranian regime, which has made clear its ambitions and efforts to wipe Israel off the map.

“AIJAC welcomes the ceasefire. Now the international community must find a way to prevent a repeat of this conflict by disarming and marginalising Hamas, while also rebuilding Gaza for the benefit of its residents.”

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