The government continues its silence on Israel’s killing of a further nine Palestinians on Friday at the Gaza border, including journalist Yasser Murtaja who was wearing a press vest when shot by an Israel Defence Force sniper. Nothing from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, no feeble expression of concern from the Department of Foreign Affairs, which is notionally committed to press freedom around the world; the normally frequent tweets from Australian ambassador Chris Cannan about how wonderful Israel is, strangely paused.

Nor was there any comment on Israel Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s insistence that “There are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip. Everyone’s connected to Hamas, everyone gets a salary from Hamas.” It’s only 18 months since Julie Bishop was boasting of meeting with Lieberman to discuss “bilateral cooperation”.

Peter Fray

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