The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) stands with the international community, including Australia, in concerns over the humanitarian impact of ongoing military operations by Israel in Rafah, Gaza. The situation has escalated following a significant air assault by Israel on Rafah this past Sunday night, raising fears of the ground invasion that could have catastrophic consequences for the civilian population.

‘But more must be done and it’s imperative to move from mere words into real and immediate action’. Dr. Rateb Jneid, President of AFIC said.

As the conflict intensifies, over 1.5 million Palestinians have been herded into Rafah, fleeing the horrors of the massacre. The international community, echoed by statements from the Australian Prime Minister, has made a unified call urging Israel to reconsider its approach in Rafah. “Civilians must not suffer due to efforts to counteract Hamas,” represents a collective demand for restraint and a strategic reassessment to prevent further humanitarian disasters.

The situation is dire, with casualties exceeding 28,000, including deaths among those seeking shelter. This underscores the urgent need for a peaceful resolution and the protection of civilian lives. Dr. Rateb Jneid emphasises the critical humanitarian toll in Rafah, questioning the inaction in the face of such tragedy. “How many children and people must die before we act rather than just talk?” he asks, highlighting the necessity for immediate and decisive action.

AFIC, alongside the global community, calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities. There is a push for the deployment of independent observers to verify facts on the ground, moving beyond hearsay and unverified claims. This comes in the wake of decisions such as the suspension of aid to UNRWA, underscoring the need for informed, fact-based international responses to the crisis in Rafah.

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils calls more substantial action by the Australian Government in concert with the international community, beyond mere calls to stop the violence, to protect the innocent and ensure a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

AFIC, established in 1964, stands as the Peak Muslim Organisation in Australia, with a rich history of pioneering numerous community services and actively advocating for the rights and representation of the Muslim community.

Authorised:

Dr Rateb Jneid, President

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