The foreign minister says Israel has the right to defend itself and its military response is difficult to judge from afar, as the Israeli government orders a total siege of the Gaza Strip.
- Israel vows to cut off food and water in Gaza
- Penny Wong says Israel has the right to defend itself and the situation is complex
- Peter Dutton says nothing was done to stop pro-Palestinian protests overnight
Israel has declared war on Palestinian militant group Hamas after it launched a major terrorist operation, attacking a music festival and several towns near Gaza.
More than 700 people have been reported killed in Israel and nearly 700 people killed in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry, after the Israeli army launched retaliatory strikes against the territory.
Since then, the Israeli military has called up hundreds of thousands of reservists and declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip – while the Israeli government has pledged to cut off food and water to the 2.3 million people. inhabitants of the territory.
Speaking to ABC Radio, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia unequivocally condemned the attack on Israel by Hamas and the indiscriminate firing of rockets, targeting of civilians and hostage-taking by the group.
“Israel has the right to defend itself, and this was a heinous attack, and the hostage-taking, the attacks on civilians, the kind of horrific images that we see remind us of the security situation that Israel is facing.” , said Senator Wong.
“I think it’s still very difficult from here to pass judgment on the security approach taken by other countries. We said Israel had the right to defend itself.”
Senator Wong reiterated that Australia encouraged restraint, after criticism from the opposition that her comment was inappropriate.
“Australia should always, in any conflict, say that we want civilian lives to be protected… and I would just ask you to think: ‘What is the alternative?'”
The government has changed its travel advice to Israel, advising Australians to reconsider any travel to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories due to the volatile situation and threat of terrorism.
He advises Australians not to travel to Gaza or areas near its border.
The government is seeking to confirm the welfare of Australians who may have been involved in the attack.
‘Despicable’: Dutton says PM should have ended protests
During the night, several Australian monuments, including the Sydney Opera House and the Canberra Parliament, were illuminated in the colors of the Israeli flag as a sign of solidarity with the nation and the Jewish communities of Australia.
Pro-Palestinian protesters marched on the Opera House against the decision to light it with the Israeli flag, defying Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s call for the protest to be canceled.
Protesters waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans such as “f… the Jews”, “liberate Palestine” and “shame on Israel”.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the Prime Minister should have contacted community leaders to end the protest.
“These are despicable scenes in Sydney (overnight) and they are unimaginable in modern Australia,” Mr Dutton said.
“I condemn the actions of activists and protesters. They have no place in our country.”
Asked what she would say to the protesters, Senator Wong said it could not be justified.
“There is no place for anti-Semitism in our society… we know that this is a region of the world where there are long-standing conflicts, long-standing suffering, violence on all sides – there is no justification for what we have seen Hamas engage in,” said Senator Wong. said.
In July, the federal government joined other countries in expressing “deep concern” over the Israeli government’s approval of more than 5,000 new settlement units in the West Bank and deteriorating prospects for peace .