Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has “unequivocally” condemned terrorist attacks by Hamas militants in Israel as Australia’s leaders clashed over the nation’s response to escalating war conflict in Gaza.

Speaking to parliament, Mr Albanese said unfolding violence in Israel and Gaza had caused deep distress across the Australian community and called upon all leaders to maintain respect.

Israeli defence forces have continued to amass troops along the Gaza border, signalling a ground invasion on the highly-populated Palestinian territory in response to the Hamas attack.

“We must face what has happened – and what is now unfolding – with complete moral clarity,” Mr Albanese spoke on Monday.

“Hamas terrorists committed mass murder on a horrific scale. Jewish families here and across the world are mourning the greatest loss of Jewish life in a single day since the Holocaust.

“This was no act of war against the army of an enemy. It was the slaughter of innocent people. It was an act of terror,” he said.

“Hamas offers nothing but terror and bloodshed with no regard to who pays the price. We should be very clear that it is Hamas that is the enemy, not the Palestinian people.”

Mr Albanese said there was no place for hateful prejudice in Australia and rejected anti-Semitic chants made by protesters at rally outside of the Sydney Opera House last week.

Alluding to criticisms from the opposition over language used to condemn Hamas, the prime minister urged for a respectful discussion.

“The message we should be sending loudly and clearly from this place to all Australians is to avoid the traps set by such forces of division. Anyone seeking to exploit the people suffering for political purposes should consider the damage,” the prime minister said.

“As people express their views, and condemns all forms of hate speech and violent extremist activity, including anti Semitism and Islamophobia and recognises an attack on any religion is an attack on all religions, and that we all share a responsibility to unite, condemn and defeat such an attack on our common values and way of life.”

Independent Senator Lidia Thorpe, who wore a Palestinian keffiyeh to the Senate on Monday, argued that Australia had sided with an “oppressive occupation.”

“The core issue of this conflict is 75 years of violent displacement, time, segregation, humiliation and dehumanisation,” Senator Thorpe told the Senate.

“Palestinians live with a generation of trauma, of oppression and dispossession, they continue to fight for sovereignty, liberation and their land back, as do first peoples of this country.”

Opposition leader Peter Dutton said the October 7 attacks by Hamas were a “total act of sheer barbarity” and said there should be no restraint shown to terrorists.

“What occurred nine days ago, was the embodiment of evil and the abhorrent acts of masses inhumanity have been evident for the world to see,” Mr Dutton said.

“Like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Hamas invasion of Israel was unprovoked it was unjust, and it was absolutely unacceptable.”

Following Hamas’ assault, hundreds of Palestine supporters marched through Sydney in protest against the Opera House being lit up in blue and white in support of Israel.

After condemning anti-Jewish sentiments, Mr Dutton pointed to the prime minister and said “the Jewish community here in Australia deserves to hear you condemn them as well.”

“Shame on you for condoning those words,” he said.

Both Anthony Albanese and Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong publicly denounced behaviour seen at last week’s protest, with Mr Albanese telling Sky News on 10 October that the images from the rally were “horrific” and “appalling.”

Greens leader Adam Bandt called on the government to firmly oppose a looming ground invasion by Israeli forces in Gaza.

He moved to amend a motion supporting Israel’s right to defend itself, and to replace it with a point which explicitly “condemns war crimes perpetrated by the state of Israel, including the bombing of Palestinian civilians.”

“We join with everyone in this place to say there is no place to anti Semitism and Islamophobia. There is much that we could support but on the eve of a looming invasion, that is likely to be not just a humanitarian catastrophe, but a war crime. Australia cannot stay silent,” Mr Bandt said.

Following a debate in the House of Representatives leaders overwhelmingly voted to support a motion condemning Hamas’ attacks, with the Greens’ attempt to amend language expressing support for Israeli counter attacks unsuccessful.

Read related topics:Anthony Albanese


Source link

By Rahul

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *