Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne has spoken out against the increasingly weak position of the Abbott government regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine over the occupied territories.
"This is an outrageous backdown by the Abbott government. It is inflammatory behaviour and at odds with the peace process," Senator Milne said.
"The use of the term ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories' is the accepted term used by the UN. The Israeli settlements built after 1967 are illegal. The settlements contravene the Fourth Geneva Convention.
"This is yet more embarrassment and isolation for Australia as Prime Minister Abbott blunders around on the international stage."
Recently the Greens moved the following motion in the Senate but it was blocked by Labor and the Abbott government.
NOTICE OF MOTION - 24 March 2014
I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that -
1) Notes that:
a. Over the past year, Israeli settlements in the West Bank have significantly increased;
b. It is unlawful under the Fourth Geneva Convention for an occupying power to transfer parts of its own population into the territory it occupies;
c. World leaders, including the British Prime Minister, have called for a halt in settlement activity by Israel.
2) Calls on
a. The Israeli government to cease expansion of settlements in the West Bank;
b. The Australian Foreign Minister to publicly acknowledge that all settlements are illegal and in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Senator Christine Milne
Leader of the Australian Greens