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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, called for a permanent ceasefire to the conflict in Israel and Palestine during a speech in the Federal Parliament today. Please see above video for full speech.

“The situation in Israel and Gaza since seven October is a tragedy on a truly shocking scale.

“Over twelve hundred Israelis have been killed in the most appalling circumstances, including children. And twenty-eight thousand Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including a staggering number of children.

“While the conflict is far from our shores and our impact small, the least Australia can do is to act morally and in accordance with international law.

“And this must include respect for both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, because there’s no doubt Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza and will unleash even more horrors in Rafah.

“No wonder the ICJ has ruled it plausible that Israel is committing genocide, which surely places an obligation on Israel and the international community to prevent further abuses and to ensure ‘the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance’.

“All of which makes the Australian Government’s decision to pause humanitarian funding to UNRWA a shameful subversion of the ICJ and, to be frank, makes Australia complicit in the collective punishment of Palestinians.

“Consequently I again call on the Government to restore this funding, properly assist evacuees to Australia, and contribute towards lasting peace through support for a permanent ceasefire and two-state solution.”