Australia welcomes resolution for Middle East ceasefire

June 11, 2024 18:16 | News

A United Nations Security Council resolution supporting a ceasefire in the Middle East has been welcomed by Australia, Foreign Minister Penny Wong says.

The body backed in a US-drafted resolution that called for a three-phase ceasefire that had been outlined by United States President Joe Biden in May.

Under the resolution, there would be calls for a six-week ceasefire with an exchange of hostages held by Hamas, as well as prisoners kept by Israel.

The second phase would involve a permanent ceasefire, while the third would cover a reconstruction effort for the Gaza Strip.

Senator Wong said Australia supported the outcome of the Security Council vote.

“That no country voted against the resolution underlines the international community’s view that this war must end,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The three-phase proposal presented by President Biden offers the best pathway out of this conflict.”

The resolution has called on both Israel and Hamas to fully implement a ceasefire “without delay and without condition”.

“The resolution again reiterates international commitment to a two-state solution where Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders,” Senator Wong said.

“Australia will continue to work with countries that support peace to press for agreement to this proposal.”

Penny Wong
Civilians must be protected, aid must flow at scale and hostages must be released, Penny Wong says. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Senator Wong said any delay “will only see more lives lost”.

“Civilians must be protected, aid must flow at scale and hostages must be released,” she said.

More than 37,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel declared war on Hamas in October, local health officials say.

Israel’s military operation was precipitated by the October 7 assault in which militants killed 1200 Israelis and took more than 200 hostages.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has reiterated calls for peaceful protests in Australia connected to the Middle East conflict after the electorate offices of MPs were targeted.

Both the government and opposition last week condemned the Greens for inciting protests outside the offices, some of which had turned violent.

“In a democracy, peaceful protest has an important role for people to be able to demonstrate their views,” Mr Albanese told reporters in Canberra.

Australian Greens Leader Adam Bandt
Greens leader Adam Bandt says Australian politics has a long history of peaceful protests. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

“There is a great deal of concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. 

“It’s one that the Australian government shares.”

Greens leader Adam Bandt said he welcomed the UN resolution for a ceasefire, while also stressing the need for peaceful protests.

“Protest has to be peaceful,” he told ABC News.

“It has to be peaceful with respect to people and to property so everyone has a right to feel safe in this country.

“What we’ve said, very clearly, is that what we are seeing is the overwhelming majority of people coming to the street and protesting peacefully.

“That has a long tradition in Australian politics – it’s what helped stop wars in the past.”

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