26 October 2023
Dear Prime Minister,
The Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel on 7 October 2023 left my community of Warringah and I, along with many around Australia, shocked and horrified. The Government‘s strong condemnation of those attacks was essential and I join the Government in calling for the immediate release of all hostages unharmed.
I note the briefing to members of the crossbench by Ministers Wong and O’Neill in respect to the rapidly evolving situation and steps taken to repatriate Australian citizens in Israel and in Gaza.
These events have been very distressing for many Australians, especially those in the region and their family and friends here in Australia. It is a devastating setback for both Israeli and Palestinian people and I urge the Government to take all possible steps to advocate for the protection of all civilian lives and the de-escalation of the conflict.
Many in my community wish me to convey to the government the extreme concern for the plight of innocent civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, caught in this horrific conflict.
To help protect innocent civilian lives, I urge the Government to take all available steps to advocate for a safe corridor to and from Gaza for the provision of essential humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, where there is undisputedly a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis, the evacuation of innocent civilians and the importance of all nations respecting International Humanitarian Law during armed conflict. I strongly support the $20 million humanitarian aid package provided to date and urge the Government to provide more as needed.
I also call on the Government to announce an additional humanitarian refugee intake and fast track visa processing for Palestinians at risk in Gaza especially women and children where possible.
Finally, to prioritise social cohesion in Australia, I urge the Government to ensure both Israeli and Palestinian concerns are heard and considered during this difficult time.
I want to thank you again for the Government’s engagement with myself and the crossbench to date. I look forward to receiving further updates on key developments and government announcements as they occur.
Zali Steggall OAM, MP
Federal Member for Warringah
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