Debris of Al-Sharouk tower after being hit by an Israeli air strike. (Photo by Nidal Alwaheidi/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Human rights groups and Palestinian organisations have slammed the federal government’s attempts to strengthen trade ties with Israel as deadly violence escalates in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan has expressed intent to ink a free trade agreement with Israel by July and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is conducting a feasibility study into strengthening ties between the two countries.

In a submission to DFAT’s feasibility study, coordinated by the Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ), several human rights groups attacked attempts to strengthen trade with Israel, warning that this was happening in a context where “subjugation” of the Palestinian people was becoming more entrenched.