Palestinian Nurse on Ninth Day of Hunger Strike

Block The Dock

An australian-Palestinian Nurse has been on hunger strike for 9 days, he is joined by 50 plus supporters who have set up camp at Port Melbourne in readiness to ‘block the dock’ in protest of Australia’s military relationship with the Israeli regime.

On November 9th, Nurse and Gaza native Riyad Aladassi began a hunger strike. Israel has killed over 11,000 Palestinian people in Gaza since the beginning of October. They have also targeted hospitals, ambulances, schools, residential buildings, refugee camps and places of worship. The hunger strike is also in response to Israel cutting off food, water, electricity and fuel with intermittent disablement of internet and telecommunications services to the Gaza Strip. Until today, Nurse Aladassi has consumed only water for sustenance, refraining from consuming any food at all. He has stated that either his demands are met or he dies.

“If my people don’t eat, I will not eat. Save Gaza first.” said Aladassi,

“I, and many of the protesters here with me, have family members who have been directly and brutally impacted by this genocide, and it is completely unacceptable that our Australian tax dollars are used to support what is fast becoming one of the most intensive genocides of our collective lifetimes.”

Camp members brought tents, sleeping bags, supplies and protest signs, and are intending to remain at the dock until the Australian government denounces the Israeli regime and aligns itself with the Palestinians who are being ethnically cleansed from their ancestral lands. The protesters are also in readiness for another action to physically block Zim trucks from loading onto ships docked at the port.

The ongoing sit-in began one day after approximately 500 protestors blockaded the road at Webb Dock in order to stop an Israeli transport company from delivering its shipment onto its next destination. ZIM, the transport company in question, has been associated with facilitating the exchange of military arms and supplies to and from Israel, and is implicated in the current Palestinian genocide

Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories stated that Israel does not have the right to self-defence under international law in this context, because the threat to Israel is stemming from a militant group within occupied territory, not another state.

Aladassi wants the Australian Government to publicly set the record straight, to stop perpetuating the lethal falsehood of Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’, and immediately hold Israel to account for its gross violations of international law. He also urges the Prime Minister to cut all financial and diplomatic ties with Israel and recognise the Palestinian’s right of self-defense as per the international law (Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, UNGA Resolution 37/43).

Aladassi will remain on the protest grounds and continue his hunger strike until his demands are met. These are his demands:

1 – Ceasefire now in Palestine

2 – Allow food, water, aid, fuel, electricity, internet connection and all communications into Gaza.

3 – Australia must terminate all contracts with Israeli weapons companies and guarantee that it will end its military relationship with Israel.

4 – End the occupation in Palestine

The protesters have also vowed to remain with him until the demands are met.

Nurse Aladassi has also requested to speak directly with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has yet to respond to any communication requests from Aladassi or the protest camp. Aladassi has made it clear that this protest is not organised by any particular group or organisation – when asked who his camp represents, he responded “we are the people of this nation”.

Sara Cheikh Husain, a member of the group, said “we are in solidarity with the Bock The Boat protests globally and those that take action that is aligned with our demands and our goal of liberating Palestine”

“We ask that all members of the Australian public support Palestine and urge their elected officials to join the movement for a free Palestine at this crucial time” said Cheikh Husain.

/Public Release.