International Humanitarian Conference for the Civilian Population in Gaza

  • Speech, check against delivery

Australia unequivocally condemns the October 7 attacks on Israel and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

In defending itself Israel must respect international humanitarian law and conduct military operations lawfully.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire and human suffering is widespread.

The damage caused to critical infrastructure, including hospitals, has severe consequences for access to basic services.

Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected.

The World Health Organisation has warned that unless basic health and sanitation services are restored, more people could die from disease than from the conflict itself.

This must be be prevented.

Safe and unimpeded humanitarian access must be increased.

Australia is concerned that the primary border crossing – Kerem Shalom – remains closed. This is preventing much needed relief supplies to enter Gaza.

Reports that key transport routes within Gaza are increasingly difficult to access for humanitarian supplies are alarming.

The north needs to remain accessible to humanitarian agencies.

Critical transit routes need to remain open for humanitarian trucks and personnel.

We need to do all that we can to ensure assistance reaches those most in need.

The recent pause allowed for the release of 105 hostages, the protection of civilians and for a much-needed increase in critical humanitarian supplies to enter Gaza.

We want to see this continue and support international efforts towards a sustainable ceasefire, which cannot be one sided.

Australia remains committed to supporting those affected by this conflict.

We are providing $25 million Australian dollars in humanitarian assistance through UN agencies and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

This has delivered critical water, medicine and essential services to those in need, particularly women and children.

I recognise the tireless efforts of organisations and individuals who make this possible.

I thank them for the work that they do and the sacrifice that they make to save lives.

It is critical that international partners come together to respond to the urgent human suffering.

Australia will continue to do its part.

Media enquiries

  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555