Zali Steggall statement on Gaza

4 June 2024

The humanitarian crisis that is continuing to unfold in Rafah is horrific and the strikes on innocent civilians, even if unintentional, deserve universal condemnation and stronger action by the international community to ensure the Netanyahu government immediately stops its Rafah offensive.

The Australian Government must use all possible diplomatic pathways to unequivocally call for the Israeli government to uphold the international rule of law, keep civilians safe and encourage both sides to agree to a permanent ceasefire.

All possible diplomatic efforts must also be focussed on the immediate release of the Israeli hostages taken by Hamas following the horrific attack of 7 October 2023.

Australia is a signatory to the International Criminal Court and as such I support the International Criminal Justice system’s role in holding states to account for their actions and insist that they act within international law. The ICJ is an independent body and it is not appropriate for any nation to pick and choose which aspects of international law, or actions by the ICJ it chooses to uphold.

I support a two-state solution and agree with Foreign Minister Penny Wong that peace can only be achieved if Israel and Palestine co-exist within agreed borders. I see no other pathway to peace in the region or resolution to this conflict.

Recognition of a new state by the Australian government is a significant matter that should follow careful consideration and process and is traditionally done by means of a statement by the Foreign Minister. Australian standing on the international stage requires a high degree of unity. I respect the government of the day’s right to recognise foreign powers in accordance with that process.

Since the horrific events of 7 October 2023, there have been a number of motions presented in Parliament which have tried to cut across this practice of unity and exploit public distress for political gain. I have abstained from voting on the motions put forward by The Greens, The Member for Kennedy and the Coalition, as in my view, they have been motivated by wedge politics and did not prioritise good governance and social cohesion.

I am extremely concerned that people’s legitimate distress and feelings of powerlessness are leading to increasing levels of aggression and violent protests, especially when they are being fuelled for political gain.

Australia must not become a place where divergence of views and opinions justifies violent protest. While I respect the right to protest, it is not a right to hate speech, false accusations, violence or destruction of property.  

As political leaders, we have a responsibility to stand in unity against radicalisation, Antisemitism and Islamophobia and look to ways the Australian community can come together to acknowledge the extreme distress, sadness and helplessness experienced by many Australians at the situation in Gaza.

I will continue pressing the Government and the Prime Minister for all possible action to support the safe return of hostages, a permanent ceasefire, to urgently increase to humanitarian aid and offer safe passage and humanitarian visas.

I have met with and sought written confirmation on a number of occasions from Minister Wong and her department to confirm there have been no weapons exports to Israel and have requested a more detailed understanding of our defence relationship with Israel including contracts, material and defence. I have been assured that Australian resources have been directed via UN agencies.  I support the Albanese Government’s approach in respect to the conflict.

- Ends - 


Links to previous communication:


29 April 2024 Zali Steggall writes to Foreign Minister regarding defence relationship with Israel

29 February 2024 Joint letter to Minister Wong regarding Humanitarian Assistance, Gaza 

15 February 2024 Zali Steggall MP writes to Minister for Foreign Affairs on the Israel-Hamas conflict 

26 October 2023 Zali Steggall letter to PM on the Israel Hamas conflict



29 February 2024 JOINT STATEMENT - Humanitarian Assistance, Gaza

15 February 2024 Zali Steggall MP Statement on Israel-Gaza conflict

10 October 2023 Zali Steggall MP Statement on Hamas attacks on Israel 


17 October 2023 Zali Steggall MP speaks on the Hamas attacks on Israel and ongoing conflict