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The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) and the Muslim Community strongly condemn the Israeli airstrike this morning on Al-Ahli Babtist Hospital in Gaza City which has killed more than 800 Palestinians.

Today, we woke up to one of the most horrifying massacres of this century. It was a deliberate act which targeted not only civilians but wounded and ill people in a major hospital. On any definition, this is a war crime. Soon after, Israeli authorities tweeted that “Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza.”

The Israeli airstrike struck a crowded hospital compound in central Gaza, killing over 800 people and injuring thousands, including patients and displaced Palestinians sheltering inside. The hospital, was already at full capacity, sheltering hundreds of sick and wounded, and people forcibly displaced from their homes. It was also struggling with electricity and medical supplies as a result of the siege imposed by Israel.

The Australian Government has been forthright in standing alongside Israel. It must now also call out its aggression and war crimes. It must immediately condemn Israel’s attack against, and the collective punishment of, Palestinians in Gaza. To date, the Government has made one-sided statements and declarations. In doing so it disregarded the violence and suffering being inflicted by the Israeli Government on more than 2.2 million civilians residing in Gaza.

Since October 7, over 3,000 lives have been tragically lost, thousands more injured, and hundreds of thousands displaced. The situation is dire, and immediate international intervention is imperative.

ANIC is extremely disappointed and concerned about the Australian Government’s position and statements about this crisis. Its approach has caused distress within the Australian society and also contributed to rising anti-Muslim and Islamophobic conduct over the last few days.

Israel must be called out for its aggression and held accountable. A ceasefire must be called and a humanitarian corridor allowed into Gaza immediately. ANIC also calls on the Australian Government to assist the Australian Palestinians currently stranded in Gaza and facilitate a safe evacuation route for them.

For any media inquiries, please contact ANIC’s Spokesperson, Bilal Rauf, on 1300 765 940 or spokesperson@anic.org.au