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Penny Wong has repeated her call for a pause to hostilities in Gaza so food, water and supplies can be delivered to Palestinian civilians.

The Foreign Minister told a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday that Palestinians should “not suffer because of the outrages perpetrated by Hamas”.

It comes after the federal government announced an additional $15m in aid to civilians in Gaza, bringing the total package of humanitarian assistance to $25m.

Senator Wong said the funding would be delivered “through trusted partners to help address immediate and emerging needs including food, water, medicine and other essential services”.

More than 5000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes since Hamas’ attack on Israeli civilians on October 7, which killed at least 1400 people.

After the Hamas attack, Israel cut off access to water, food and electricity to Gaza.

Several aid trucks have crossed from Egypt to Gaza in recent days but the Foreign Minister said the access was “nowhere near enough”.

“We call for humanitarian pauses on hostilities. So food, water, medicine and other essential assistance can reach people in desperate need, and so civilians can get to safety,” she said.

She reiterated her position that Australian wanted “an enduring peace in the Middle East grounded in a two-state solution, where Israelis and Palestinians can live securely behind internationally recognised borders”.

The Foreign Minister said Australia “stands with Israel” and recognised its inherent right to defend itself but insisted “the way Israel exercises its right to defend itself matters”.

“It matters to civilians throughout the region, and it matters to Israel’s ongoing security. Innocent Palestinian civilians should not suffer because of the outrages perpetrated by Hamas.”

The government has assisted more than 600 Australians leave Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Another 79 people are trapped in Gaza and have been unable to leave, while 51 Australian citizens remain in the West Bank.

“We are deeply distressed that international efforts to secure civilian passage out of Gaza, efforts Australia has engaged in and is actively supporting, are yet to be successful,” Senator Wong said.

Read related topics:Penny Wong

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