Australia role in Gaza peace
Australia role in Gaza peace

A Federal Liberal MP says Australia should use its position on the United Nations Security Council to pursue peace in Gaza.

Craig Laundy, whose western Sydney seat of Reid is almost 18 per cent Islamic, said the Abbott Government should show the same leadership on ending the Israel-Palestine conflict as it has done in the MH17 disaster.

The three-week war between Israel and Hamas has claimed the lives of more than 1360 Palestinians, including hundreds of women and children.

Israel, which has lost 56 soldiers and three civilians, was yesterday denounced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for its shelling of a UN school in a Gaza refugee camp, killing 15 people.

Mr Laundy said the time had come for Australia to use its international influence to bring peace in the conflict. "I am sick of people using the words 'I believe in a two-state solution' as something to hide behind," he said.

"With our response to the crash of MH17, we have shown our prowess as a soft diplomatic power and seen what we can achieve on the world stage through our seat on the UN Security Council.

"While we are on the Security Council let's work on a resolution which will help achieve peace in the region."

Tony Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten called for a ceasefire, with the Prime Minister coming close to criticising Israel.

"I don't necessarily support every single thing that the Israeli Government does, because they're capable of making mistakes just like everyone else is but no one intends, or should intend, any attack which results in the death of innocent people," Mr Abbott said.

Mr Shorten said Australia must use its position on the Security Council to push for an immediate ceasefire.

"Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel - more than 2600 so far - and Israel must restrain its response, which has cost far too many civilian lives," he said.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has many Jewish constituents, said Israel faced an existential threat.

The West Australian

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