Zali Steggall writes to Foreign Minister regarding defence relationship with Israel

29 April 2024

Re: Current status of our defence relationship with Israel

Dear Minister,

I am writing on behalf of a number of constituents concerned over our defence relationship with Israel given the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

I am aware that since 2017 Australia and Israel have expanded cooperation on national security, defence and cyber security with Australia appointing a resident Defence Attache to its embassy in Tel Aviv in 2019. I also understand that the Victorian government signed an MOU with Israel’s defence ministry in December 2022. I am aware that the government has also recently responded to questions about arms exports to Israel with a statement that there have been no weapons exports to Israel in the past five years.

To help understand this relationship in more detail, I request a more detailed understanding of our defence relationship with Israel including contracts, material and defence technology.

My constituents have also alerted me to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla which is sailing to Gaza this month to deliver aid to the people of Gaza. Three Australians will be on board. Any update you can provide on the government’s efforts to advocate for the safe passage of this ship, the safety of the Australian citizens on board and for the aid to reach Gaza unimpeded would be much appreciated.I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely

Zali Steggall OAM, MP
Federal Member for Warringah