AIJAC’s response to PM Albanese’s comments regarding the Gaza situation in Question Time
Nov 14, 2023 | Colin Rubenstein
Yesterday during Parliamentary question, in response to a question from Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese clarified the government’s stance on the current Gaza conflict – after Foreign Minster Senator Penny Wong had made controversial comments on ABC-TV’s “The Insiders” on Sunday, including saying, “we all want to take the next steps towards a ceasefire” and calling for Israel to “cease the attacking of hospitals” (see AIJAC’s media release on Wong’s comments here). Here is AIJAC’s full statement with regard to the Prime Minister’s remarks, a section of which was published in today’s Australian:
“We are reassured by Prime Minister Albanese’s answer clarifying the Foreign Minister’s comments regarding taking “steps” to a ceasefire are consistent with the resolution passed in the House on the current Israel-Hamas conflict, which made it clear Australia continues to support Israel’s right to self-defence against Hamas.
“Any premature call for a ceasefire would only serve the purposes of that barbaric terrorist group, allowing it to retain control of Gaza and the vast infrastructure of terror it has built there, and to seek to repeat the October 7 atrocities at a time of its choosing, not to mention its continued incarceration of 240 innocent hostages and ongoing abuse of Gazans as dispensable ‘human shields’.
“We also welcome the Prime Minister’s unequivocal condemnation of the provocative decisions of Palestinian supporters to hold a demonstration in Caulfield and stage a motorbike ride through Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
“However, we are disappointed that he did not address that part of Mr Dutton’s question where Mr Dutton said the Foreign Minister had claimed Israel was breaching international law.
“We remain troubled by Senator Wong’s false implication that Israel is breaching international law in relation to hospitals. Israel is fully complying with the laws of war, and it is Hamas’ appalling abuse of hospitals that should be strongly condemned. Hamas also bears full responsibility, legally and morally, for the tragic civilian casualties.”
AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein