Wednesday, June 26, 2024

NZ, Australia, Canada united in call for Gaza ceasefire

The Prime Ministers of New Zealand, Australia and Canada have issued a joint statement calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, saying “there is no role for Hamas in the future governance of Gaza”.

In the statement, the leaders say their nations “mourn every Israeli and Palestinian innocent life which has been lost in this conflict and express our condolences to all families and communities affected by the violence”.

“We unequivocally condemn Hamas’ terror attacks on Israel on October 7, the appalling loss of life, and the heinous acts of violence perpetrated in those attacks, including sexual violence. We condemn Hamas’ unacceptable treatment of hostages and call for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages.

“We recognise Israel’s right to exist and right to defend itself. In defending itself, Israel must respect international humanitarian law. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected. We are alarmed at the diminishing safe space for civilians in Gaza. The price of defeating Hamas cannot be the continuous suffering of all Palestinian civilians.”

The PMS state they remain deeply concerned by the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and ongoing risks to all Palestinian civilians.

“Safe and unimpeded humanitarian access must be increased and sustained.”

“The recent pause in hostilities allowed for the release of more than 100 hostages and supported an increase in humanitarian access to affected civilians. We acknowledge the persistent diplomatic efforts of the United States, Qatar, and Egypt to broker this pause, and we regret it could not be extended.

“We want to see this pause resumed and support urgent international efforts towards a sustainable ceasefire. This cannot be one-sided. Hamas must release all hostages, stop using Palestinian civilians as human shields, and lay down its arms. 

“There is no role for Hamas in the future governance of Gaza.

“We support Palestinians’ right to self-determination. We oppose the forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, the re-occupation of Gaza, any reduction in territory, and any use of siege or blockade. We emphasize that Gaza must no longer be used as a platform for terrorism. We reaffirm that settlements are illegal under international law. Settlements and settler violence are serious obstacles to a negotiated two-state solution.”

“We recommit ourselves to working with partners toward a just and enduring peace in the form of a two-state solution, where Israelis and Palestinians can live securely within internationally recognised borders. 

“We remain concerned about the impact of the conflict spilling across the region and urge all governments in the region to work towards containing the conflict. We call on the Houthis to cease immediately their attacks on international shipping and crew operating in the Red Sea.

“We condemn rising antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab sentiment in our countries and around the world and remain firmly committed to combatting prejudice, hatred, and violent extremism,” the statement concludes.

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