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Australian minister Ed Husic accuses Israel of systematic failure to abide by laws of war

Canberra, April 7: Australian government minister Ed Husic on Sunday accused Israel of a systematic failure to adhere to the laws of war in Gaza.

Husic, the minister for industry and science and a member of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s cabinet, said the deaths of nearly 200 humanitarian workers in Gaza reflect a failure by Israel to distinguish between combatants and civilians, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I believe this reflects a systematic failure within the Israeli government to genuinely commit to the observance of international humanitarian law,” he told Sky News Australia.

“That’s why you’ve seen 33,000 Palestinians killed, 14,500 of which are children, and 77,000 injured – and then on top of that, 200 aid workers and 100 journalists.”

Australian citizen Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom was killed along with six colleagues from the World Central Kitchen (WCK), an aid organization, in Israeli airstrikes in central Gaza on Monday local time.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Friday published a summary of an initial investigation into the incident, concluding that the strike on WCK aid vehicles was a grave mistake stemming from a mistaken identification.

Richard Marles, Australia’s deputy prime minister and minister for defence, and Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Friday announced Australia would appoint an independent special adviser to scrutinize the official investigation into the strikes.

Husic on Sunday said the decision to appoint the adviser was a big step that would ensure a thorough investigation.

Marles and Wong said on Friday that Israel’s response to the incident had not satisfied Australia’s expectations and asked that all evidence surrounding the strikes be preserved.

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