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ScoMo’s big call on Israel-Hamas conflict

PARLIAMENT
Scott Morrison has dismissed the call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Scott Morrison has dismissed the call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict as he toured a Kibbutz decimated by the October 7 attack.

The former prime minister said a ceasefire would only “advantage Hamas to be able to strengthen their positions and make this war go on for even longer”.

“You can’t help but be overwhelmed by the sense of what we’re standing was once, a month ago, a place of innocence and now has been desecrated beyond comprehension,” Mr Morrison said on the tour of Kfar Aza.

The Liberal backbencher is visiting the Jewish state with former British prime minister Boris Johnson on a solidarity tour.

The pair also met with former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon on Sunday.

Mr Morrison is the first Australian political figure to visit Israel since the conflict began.

Supplied Editorial
Scott Morrison visited Israel alongside Danny Danon and Boris Johnson.

Hamas’s cross-border assault on Israel on October 7 killed at least 1400 people and 240 people were taken hostage. Four hostages have since been released.

Israel has since closed the borders to Gaza, launched a ground assault and the continued bombardment has killed at least 9700 people.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rejected the growing call for a ceasefire in Gaza without the return of the hostages.

World leaders, including US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, have made the trip to Israel to hold talks with Mr Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has previously said he had no plans to visit the region despite pressure from the Coalition to do so while overseas on visits to the US and China.

An Israeli soldier stands outside a destroyed home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Picture: Fadel Senna / AFP)
An Israeli soldier stands outside a destroyed home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Picture: Fadel Senna / AFP)

The Albanese government has repeatedly said it supported Israel’s right to defend itself but has called for a humanitarian pause in Gaza to allow for aid to reach Palestinian civilians.

“Suffering in Gaza is widespread,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement posted to X on Monday.

“Food, water, medicine, fuel (and) other essential assistance must reach people in desperate need (and) civilians, including Australians, must be able to get to safety.

“This is why we (and) so many countries are calling for humanitarian pauses to hostilities.”

On Sunday evening, a group of 12 Australians arrived in Sydney via a Qatar Airways flight after being able to escape Gaza when the Rafah crossing was opened to allow foreign nationals to exit.

So far, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has helped about 25 people leave Gaza.

A further 79 people, including Australian citizens, permanent residents and family members, remain in Gaza and have requested DFAT’s assistance.

“We continue to press for the remaining Australians and their family members in Gaza to be allowed to cross the border to safety and as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.