Senate debates

Tuesday, 28 November 2023

Statements by Senators

Middle East

1:51 pm

Photo of Janet RiceJanet Rice (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

Ceasefire now! The people of Gaza need more than a temporary truce, with the Israeli government flagging that they'll continue the war with full force after the truce, including moving into southern Gaza. This is not self-defence after the horrific acts of Hamas. This is war that is putting Palestinian people at grave risk of genocide. Aid agencies on the ground in Gaza have told us there have now been 20,000 people killed—70 per cent of them women, children and the elderly. There are now 1.7 million people displaced, and for the 800,000 people remaining in northern Gaza there is a huge risk of famine and disease. Sewage is overflowing in the streets. Waste and blood and corpses are scattered in the streets. Gaza needs 800 trucks a day to bring in food, fuel and water—way more than the 120 a day that have come in over the last few days. Gazans needs to be able to extract the bodies the estimated 6,600 bodies that remain under the rubble. Gazans need a permanent ceasefire now.

There are three things the Australian government should be doing right now. Firstly, we must call upon the Israeli government to implement a ceasefire now. We must stop pretending that Israel is complying with international law when it's crystal clear that it has committed war crimes over the last month, disproportionately killing civilians, bombing hospitals, cutting off food, water and fuel, and collectively punishing a whole population. Secondly, we must take action under the multiple treaties and international agreements that we have signed to prevent war crimes. Thirdly, Australia must increase its aid. The people of Gaza need $1.2 billion over the next six months. Currently, we have committed 1.2 million. Please join our call. Ceasefire now!