An Australian-Palestinian Nurse has been on a hunger strike for 15 days, he is joined by 50 plus supporters who have set up camp at Port Melbourne in readiness to block weapons exports to Israel.
On November 9th, around 500 protesters gathered at Port Melbourne and blocked trucks from the Zim shipping company from loading a ship on the dock. Following the action, Nurse and Gaza native Riyad Aladassi remained at the dock and began his hunger strike. Some protesters remained with him and others have set up tents, sleeping bags and supplies to join him.
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 globally televised genocides of our collective lifetimes.”
On Tuesday Aladassi was visited by haemotologist Dr Mohammad Irhimeh who said he was doing well “His current physical and mental health condition is stable so far” said Irhimeh, “However, deterioration is not linear with time, it’s exponential”
Nurse Aladassi has requested to speak directly with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has yet to respond to any communication requests from Aladassi or the protest camp. He urges the Prime Minister to cut all financial and diplomatic ties with Israel and recognise the Palestinian’s right of self-defense as per international law (Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, UNGA Resolution 37/43). Aladassi’s demands are as follows:
1 - An immediate ceasefire now in Palestine
2 - The clear passage of food, water, aid, fuel, electricity, internet 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
Israel has massacred over 12,000 Palestinian people in Gaza since the beginning of October. They have targeted hospitals, ambulances, schools, residential buildings, refugee camps and places of worship.
The hunger strike is a means of peaceful protest in response to Israel cutting off food, water, electricity and fuel with intermittent disablement of internet and telecommunications services to the Gaza Strip.
Today Block The Dock will hold an interfaith solidarity vigil and support workers rallying for Palestinian Liberation at the Port of Melbourne. The Mass Mourning For Gaza vigil will begin at 12pm and will be followed by prayers at 1.30pm. The callout to support rallying workers commences at 2pm.
Aladassi stressed that the truce deal struck between Israel and Hamas yesterday is virtually meaningless for long term Palestinian liberation and an end to ethnic cleansing
“Historically Israel has escalated it’s attacks leading up to the ceasefire to use every last second and immediately after ceasefires, and we are seeing a repetition of that now” said Aladassi, “This truce is nothing to be celebrated, it is merely a distraction, a war criminals lunch break”.
For media enquiries, please contact Riyad Aladassi: 0430560886
Photo and video available on request