Israel-Hamas war: Government cautious on ceasefire news - WAtoday
Israel, the United States and Hamas have reached a tentative agreement to free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting, The Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the deal.
However, both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American officials said no deal had been reached yet.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong reacted cautiously to the reported temporary freeze in hostilities and declined to comment, as did her opposition counterpart Simon Birmingham.
In a carefully worded statement issued late on Sunday evening, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said Australia had been clear about its support for humanitarian pauses of hostilities so food, water, medicine, fuel and other essential assistance could reach people and so civilians could reach safety.
“We support the ongoing efforts of international partners to prevent the conflict from spreading, including next steps towards a ceasefire, but this cannot be one-sided,” they said.
“Australia continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.”
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry called for Hamas to be vanquished, while the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network called for the ceasefire to be made permanent.
Thousands of people took to the streets in Australian capital cities including Sydney and Melbourne on Sunday, rallying support for Palestine, calling for a ceasefire and criticising the...