A ceasefire is needed in Gaza


Ms CLAYDON (Newcastle—Deputy Speaker) (16:40): It was heartbreaking to hear over the weekend news that international efforts for an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza had failed. This is distressing news for everyone who wants to see an end to the war in Gaza. Make no mistake: negotiations for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire are ongoing. The international community has not given up. But I do not underestimate the devastating impacts of the UN resolution being defeated and terrifying threats of a full Israeli incursion into Rafah being reiterated, defying global pressure.

Yesterday the UN Secretary reiterated international calls for a ceasefire and an ironclad commitment from Israel to immediately allow vital humanitarian aid into Gaza. I agree. Children are starving to death. The risk of famine is imminent. There are trucks of food outside of Gaza's borders, but there is no way to deliver it across the borders without Israel's cooperation. Australia is providing $52.5 million in humanitarian assistance for food, water, medicine and shelter. However, the situation remains utterly desperate. Gaza is being bombed into rubble. More than 32,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed. The need for an immediate and enduring humanitarian ceasefire has never been more pressing, as is the call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. Billions of people around the world prayed for peace. I stand with them and everyone who calls for peace.