Australia, New Zealand, And Canada Call For Sustainable Ceasefire In Gaza Strip

The Prime Ministers of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada have issued a joint statement calling for a sustainable ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and an end to the “continuous suffering” of its citizens. 

The Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, along with his counterparts Chris Luxon of New Zealand and Justin Trudeau of Canada, have called for urgent international efforts towards a sustainable ceasefire. 

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However, they underscored that any ceasefire must not be one-sided.

The leaders have called for specific actions from Hamas, including the release of hostages, cessation of using Palestinian civilians as human shields, and laying down arms. 

The joint statement condemned Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, highlighting the heinous acts of violence, including sexual violence, resulting in the death of 1,200 people and the taking of more than 200 hostages.

While recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself, the leaders stressed the importance of protecting civilians and civilian infrastructure. 

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They urged Israel to respect international humanitarian law in its self-defence efforts. The leaders stated that there is no role for Hamas in the future governance of Gaza.

“In defending itself, Israel must respect international humanitarian law,” they said.

Australia’s ambassador to the UN, James Larsen, has also emphasised the widespread and unacceptable human suffering in Gaza. 

The resolution expresses grave concern over the catastrophic humanitarian situation and calls for the protection of both Palestinian and Israeli civilian populations in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Penny Wong, is expected to visit Israel and other Middle Eastern countries in January. 

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