The forces that entered the Gaza Strip last night represented the largest ground operation in the coastal territory since Israel withdrew in the summer of 2005. Palestinian sources reported massive artillery shelling and air force strikes accompanying the advance of the infantry, armored and combat engineering corps.
The ground invasion was preceded by large-scale artillery shelling from around 4 P.M., intended to “soften” the targets as artillery batteries deployed along the Strip in recent days began bombarding Hamas targets and open areas near the border. Hundreds of shells were fired, including cluster bombs aimed at open areas.
Australia participated actively in negotiating this Convention because we were absolutely convinced the time had come for the international community to firmly act against cluster munitions that cause unacceptable humanitarian harm.
Israel clearly caused “unacceptable humanitarian harm” in Gaza and yet Australia remained silent, indeed complicit in the Jewish state’s crimes.
Our government should be reminded of this inconvenient truth.