22/11/2023 – Sydney
NIF welcomes the announcement of Israeli cabinet approval of a hostage deal that will see 50 Israelis returned to their families and loved ones. Since October 7th, we have worked to support the hostages' families and have called for their immediate release of all in captivity. Our core priorities since that terrible day have been:
- Working to ensure the safe return of all hostages
- Supporting Israeli human and civil rights organisations responding to the current crisis
- Calling for the preservation of civilian life in Israel and in Gaza
Since October 7th, we have watched far too many days pass by with 240 Israelis in captivity, and we have seen far too many innocent civilians killed, injured or traumatised because of this conflict. NIF will continue to do all it can to work to secure the remaining hostages and we will continue to call for humanitarian aid and the observance of international law to be observed by all parties.
We condemn the horrific and senseless violence in Israel of October 7th in the strongest terms. At the same time, we welcome this pause in fighting that allows for the provision of urgently needed aid into Gaza and the return of 50 hostages who have been away from their families and loved ones for far too long. We continue to call on the government to do all it can to see the remainder of those held in captivity are swiftly returned.
This deal will see only a small portion of the hostages released in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners and a 4-day pause in fighting. Nonetheless, it is an important initial step. We support all necessary efforts to work towards the return of the hostages and, upon their return, we implore all parties to reach a ceasefire and work towards a political solution to this conflict that will ensure peace and equality for all in the region.
Michael Chaitow (NIF), 0432 629 342
NIF Australia was formed in 2011 with the visit of then-president of NIF Israel, and the former deputy speaker of the Knesset, Naomi Chazan. In the more than ten years since its formation, NIF Australia has raised over $5 million, distributing grants to important civil society organisations in Israel, and facilitating new conversations about Israel inside the Australian Jewish community. Our community promotes freedom, equality and social justice by funding Israeli nonprofits and fostering new discussions in the Australian Jewish community.