Edmund Rice Centre calls on Albanese Government to immediately cease military equipment trading with Israel

Friday 12 April 2024

Following on from Monday's resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Council calling on countries to stop selling or shipping weapons to Israel, the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education calls on the Australian government to immediately halt all military equipment trading with Israel.

Two days ago, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Michael Fakhri called on the Albanese government to immediately end supplying weapons to Israel arguing it is "aiding and abetting a genocide and starvation" in Gaza. 

Data obtained from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade shows that Australian weapon-related exports to Israel in the last 5 years have totalled $10 million.

Further, as uncovered in the October 2023 Senate Estimates, there have been 350 defence export permits authorised by the Australian Government to Israel since 2017, including since 7 October 2023.

We appeal to arms companies operating in Australia and supplying Israel with various parts used in Israeli weapons to cease doing so. These include Rosebank Engineering in Melbourne, the sole manufacturer of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters' uplock actuator system; Currawong engineering, a Tasmania-based company that created the Corvid-29 engine used in Israeli-made drones; and Bisallow Steels that has a deal with Israel to provide "armour steel" used in Israeli fighting vehicles.

In addition to the sale of weapon parts to Israel, the Albanese government has also signed hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of contracts with Israeli arms companies, including since 7 October 2023 (source: AusTender).

This business-as-usual trading of military equipment between Australia and Israel must stop now, for the sake of the more than 1.4 million Gazans now facing starvation in their homelands and for the wellbeing of the 2.7 million Palestinians living in constant oppression in the West Bank.

Australia cannot for legal, humanitarian and moral reasons continue its trade of military equipment with Israel.

Canada, Japan, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium and others have all ended weapons exports to Israel. Australia must urgently join them and cease to be complicit in the destruction of a people.

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