Restore UNRWA Funding: Photos of 18th Gadigal-Sydney Rally Against Gaza Genocide

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Gadigal-Sydney Rally Against Gaza Genocide

A key theme to this week’s Stop the Genocide in Gaza rally, meeting for the 18th week in a row, had a focus on restoring UNRWA funding, as mass starvation has commenced in the Gaza Strip, along with the mass slaughter, and the UN agency for Palestinian refugees is essential to providing aid.

Australia, along with the US, the UK and about seven other nations, cut financing UNRWA based on an Israeli document suggesting more than ten of its staff were involved in the October 7 Hamas attacks, which, when major media players reviewed the report, was found to provide no evidence.

Israel circulated these unsubstantiated claims that led to staff being sacked due to their seriousness, the day after the International Court of Justice ruled that Netanyahu’s military campaign in Gaza is “plausibly” genocide and ordered genocidal acts to cease.

Foreign minister Penny Wong told the ABC that she’d decided to cut UNRWA funding based on the UN aid agency taking the claims seriously, even though she’d been provided no proof, and UNRWA told Channel 4 it was mitigating risk by sacking staff immediately and hadn’t expected this response.

“I don’t think any of us have anticipated this huge number of our friendly donors, who have been our partners for decades on end, to suspend the funding so-so quickly, like they’ve done,” said UNRWA communications director Juliette Touma.

“I mean, in just over 24 hours, nine of our donors suspended funding to UNRWA. I also think, none of us had anticipated that this would be done in the middle of a war and to the largest humanitarian organisation who is responding.”

Sydney Criminal Lawyers attended Sunday’s rally, calling for the restoration of funding and an end to the bloodshed.

The pro-Palestinian crowd in Hyde Park North still strong in the face of 18 weeks of horror
The Australian government cutting support to UNRWA was a focus for Sunday’s rally. Ceasing to provide support in an attempt to prevent a “plausible” genocide that involves mass starvation, based on Israeli hearsay, is a crime
Palestine Action Group’s Ophelia Haragli outlined that Wong-Albanese “have disgracefully tried to justify ripping out the last piece of stable bread from the mouths of Palestinians literally starving to death”
Wiradjuri elder Uncle Dave Bell declared the Aboriginal flag to be flying “in unity”, as he welcomed rallygoers to Country
Depraved truths
Politicians who have cut funding to the Palestinians being intentionally starved to death are having a hard time scrubbing their hands clean at the basin these days
From Gadigal to Gaza
Jewish voices were again strong, this time in calling for the restoration of aid to those starving to death in Gaza
A blind eye has been turned to genocide in Gaza, but eyes were wide open to unfounded Israeli claims re UNRWA
Making the nation complicit in genocide was not on the pre-election party platform

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Paul Gregoire

Paul Gregoire is a Sydney-based journalist and writer. He's the winner of the 2021 NSW Council for Civil Liberties Award For Excellence In Civil Liberties Journalism. Prior to Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, Paul wrote for VICE and was the news editor at Sydney’s City Hub.

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