AABCC Press Release 23 September 2002

Israel relies on Australia in war with Iraq

Israeli Government sources have admitted that Australia will be involved on the side of Israel against Palestine and Iraq.

Statements in today's papers clearly indicate Australia's involvement.

"American officials have also assured the Israelis that they will receive adequate warning of when the American attack will begin.

"The US has also quietly installed a data link to rush early warning of Iraqi missile launches to Israeli commanders. The warning information would be gathered by American satellites and sent by the US to Israel's air force headquarters, Israeli officials said."

"This can only mean one thing," said Dr Hannah Middleton of the Anti-Bases Campaign.

"Pine Gap, which controls the satellites monitoring the Middle East oil fields region, will be used by Israel to become militarily involved in any US attack on Iraq.

"In mid August, Defence Minister Senator Hill visited Pine Gap for the first time in his ministry.

"At same time a US Government VIP plane was on the tarmac at the Alice Springs airport.

"Was Senator Hill informed then of the data link to rush early warning of Iraqi missile launches to Israel?

"The Australian people should be told who was on that plane and what their role was," Dr Middleton said. "We have a right to know this in a democracy.

"It is clear that Australian Government claims to have taken no decision yet about Australian involvement in a war against Iraq are nonsense.

"Pine Gap is being used at this very moment to develop targets for attacks on Iraq by the US and Israel as well as providing early warning of missile launches.

"Australians have shown that they do not want our country involved in this impending war.

"Pine Gap should be closed down. The Australian Government should abandon its subservience to the United States and instead play a strong, positive role in seeking a negotiated solution," Dr Middleton said.

For more information contact Hannah Middleton on 9212 0800 or 0418 668 098

[Dr Middleton is one of the organisers of the national peace protest taking place at the gates of Pine Gap from October 5 to 7. She is the Australian representative on the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space]