Zali Steggall MP writes to Minister for Foreign Affairs on the Israel-Hamas conflict

15 February 2024

Dear Minister,

I am writing on behalf of hundreds of constituents who have written to me, understandably distressed at the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

I remain shocked and horrified at the rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis, the hostages who have not yet been released, and the rising civilian casualties with over 25,000 deaths, 70% of which have been women and children.

At the UN on the 12th December 2023 153 countries, including Australia, voted for a resolution demanding an ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’, ‘the immediate and
unconditional release of all hostages’ and well as “ensuring humanitarian access”.

I urge you to continue to push for a humanitarian ceasefire at every possible opportunity and to encourage all nations to respect and uphold International Law and look forward to the release of the report by the International Court of Justice.

I am extremely concerned about the escalating crisis in Rafah. With almost 85% of Gaza’s population having been displaced by the conflict, an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians are now sheltering in Rafah and I am deeply concerned by reports of a potential, full-fledged military incursion there and the devastating impact this may have on civilians there.

I am also concerned that the pause in funding for UNWRA will have dire humanitarian consequences and urge the government investigate alternate agencies through which to deliver much needed, ongoing aid.

Finally, I urge the government to do all things possible to encourage Egypt to allow safe passage of refugees, particularly visa holders out of Gaza.


Yours sincerely,

Zali Steggall OAM, MP
Federal Member for Warringah