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Parliament Rejects Greens Motion to Stop Israeli Invasion of Gaza Without Mentioning Hamas

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Labor accused the Greens of using the crisis in the Middle East to incite anger for political gain.

The Australian Parliament rejected a Greens proposal to suspend standing orders and discuss a motion urging the government to cease its support for Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

The Liberal-National Coalition, Labor Party, and independents joined forces to defeat the Greens’ suspension motion in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

Labor Finance and Public Service Minister Katy Gallagher criticized the minor party for exploiting the Middle East situation to attract votes.

“It’s regrettable that the Senate is continuously presented with suspension motions like this from the Greens, who are clearly using this crisis to fuel anger for political gain,” Ms. Gallagher stated (pdf).

“We have not sold arms to Israel. We have increased funding for various agencies in Palestine. Don’t come in here and try to incite anger, as you have done in previous sittings. How about the Senate collaborate on a path to peace and maintaining community unity?”

Greens Senator Jordon Alexander Steele-John argued that the Australian government should condemn the “invasion of Gaza.”

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“Nearly 30,000 people in Palestine have perished due to the bombardment and invasion by the State of Israel,” he stated.

“Access to medical assistance is diminishing daily. Many of Gaza’s hospitals are now completely closed or operate with severe limitations due to the siege,” he added.

Shadow Foreign Minister Simon Birmingham stated that the Coalition does not support the Greens’ attempt to suspend standing orders or the motion concerning the Australian Greens, highlighting the absence of any mention of Hamas.

“There is a tragedy unfolding in Gaza, the Palestinian territories, and Israel, exacerbated by events on 7 October. What is striking is that neither the motion proposed by the Greens nor Senator Steele-John’s speech mentioned ‘Hamas’ once,” Mr. Birmingham remarked.

“We all desire to see an end to loss of life. We all desire a roadmap that allows Israelis and Palestinians to peacefully coexist. However, genuine peace and security, essential for realizing aspirations and ambitions, cannot be achieved with Hamas in the picture.”

In the House of Representatives, Greens Leader Adam Bandt contended (pdf) that it was critical to debate why the Labor government “continues to support the State of Israel’s invasion of Gaza.”

“The core of this motion is simple: Do you believe the invasion should cease immediately and permanently? There are no loopholes. It’s not a temporary humanitarian pause for feeding children before continuing attacks,” Mr. Bandt expressed.

The Greens’ motion presented by Mr. Bandt called for a suspension of standing orders to acknowledge the “growing humanitarian catastrophe resulting from Israel’s blockade, bombing, and invasion of Gaza.”

It demanded an “immediate and permanent ceasefire” and urged the government to “cease its support for Israel’s invasion of Gaza.”

This motion from Mr. Bandt was defeated with 77 members opposing and 6 in favor in the House of Representatives.

Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Tim Watts mentioned that Australia has consistently advocated for humanitarian efforts and an immediate ceasefire since the Hamas attack on October 7.

Mr. Watts acknowledged that while Australia may not be a central player in the conflict, the nation’s voice carries weight.

“We have used our voice to push for urgent humanitarian ceasefire, humanitarian access, hostages’ release, and civilian protection,” he explained.

“This conflict has deeply impacted many Australians. Those in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories have been directly affected, while others have been exposed to the distressing reports and images from the conflict,” he added.

Opposing the suspension motion, Manager of Opposition Business Paul Fletcher emphasized the importance of valuing the lives of all innocent civilians, Israeli and Palestinian, and supporting a two-state solution for lasting peace.

“It’s astonishing that the Greens persist in ignoring the horrors of the October 7 terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas—a brutal assault resulting in the death, injury, and hostage-taking of innocent and unarmed individuals,” Fletcher stated.



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