Australia, Canada, New Zealand warn Israel of continuous Gaza suffering | Inquirer News

Australia, Canada, New Zealand warn Israel of continuous Gaza suffering

/ 07:43 AM December 13, 2023


Hani Abu Jamea, a Palestinian from Khan Yunis, follows his father who is carrying the wrapped body of his daughter Sidal who died overnight while sleeping in a tent from a shrapnel fragment that hit her in the head following Israeli bombardment on a nearby position, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 12, 2023. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

Wellington, New Zealand — The leaders of Australia, Canada and New Zealand on Wednesday warned Israel that efforts to destroy Hamas cannot spell “continuous suffering” for Palestinian civilians and issued a renewed call for a ceasefire.

In a rare joint statement, prime ministers Anthony Albanese, Justin Trudeau and Christopher Luxon defended Israel’s right to go after Palestinian militant group Hamas in retaliation for October 7 raids that killed more than 1,200 people inside Israel.


READ: UN calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Biden warns Israel is losing support

But the trio warned their Israeli allies that civilians should be better protected.


“We are alarmed at the diminishing safe space for civilians in Gaza,” the three said. “The price of defeating Hamas cannot be the continuous suffering of all Palestinian civilians.”

Israel is facing growing international pressure to rethink an invasion and air assault of Gaza that is believed to have killed many thousands and left a swathe of the Palestinian territory in rubble.

On Tuesday, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a renewed Gaza ceasefire and Israel’s chief ally, the United States, heaped pressure on the country’s leadership to change tack.

READ: US vetoes Security Council resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire

President Joe Biden on Tuesday said that Israel still had some international support for the aims of its two-month-old war, but also issued a stark warning.

“They’re starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place” he said, urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to find a long-term solution to the conflict.

Israel’s leaders have steadfastly refused to consider a long-term ceasefire in Gaza, unless hostages taken by Hamas in the October 7 raids are freed.


But some in Israel’s government have admitted the “window of legitimacy” for the operation may be closing.

Arab and Muslim states have been roundly critical of the invasion and international aid agencies have called the situation a humanitarian disaster.

Albanese, Trudeau and Luxon backed calls for a renewed pause in fighting and the release of more hostages.

“We want to see this pause resumed and support urgent international efforts towards a sustainable ceasefire,” they said.

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“This cannot be one-sided…Hamas must release all hostages, stop using Palestinian civilians as human shields, and lay down its arms.”

TAGS: Gaza, Israel-Hamas war, Palestinians, world news

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