Update 13/12/2023: Amnesty International Australia welcomes Australia’s support for a ceasefire resolution at the United Nations, and holds out hope that this vote will also lead to the immediate, unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid and the release of hostages.

Now, Prime Minister Albanese, Foreign Minister Penny Wong and the Federal Government must use every opportunity and every power available to continue to call for a ceasefire and for the Israeli Government to lift its 16-year illegal blockade on Gaza, which causes the mass oppression and intolerable suffering of 2.6 million people.

The unparalleled escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas and other armed groups has taken a devastating toll on civilians in Gaza. The level of casualties is unprecedented. Countless lives have been shattered, ripped apart, and upended.

With each day that passes the humanitarian catastrophe is getting worse for civilians in Gaza and for the hostages kidnapped by Hamas. Australia has abstained from a resolution at the United Nations calling for a ceasefire. We need to make it clear that Australians support a sustained ceasefire, and want their government to stand with them and call for one today. A sustained ceasefire will;

  • Ensure there is a stop to unlawful attacks by all parties, halting the mounting death toll in Gaza,
  • Enable aid agencies to get life-saving aid into the Gaza strip to address the staggering levels of human suffering. It will allow hospitals to receive life-saving medicines, fuel and equipment they desperately need and to repair damaged wards,
  • Provide opportunities to negotiate the release of hostages detained in Gaza, and
  • Allow for independent international investigations to take place into the war crimes.

Civilian deaths in Gaza continue to rise at a staggering rate amid relentless Israeli bombardment, in response to the horrific attacks in Israel by Hamas and other armed groups that resulted in 1,400 people killed and the abduction of civilians. Thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Gaza including through indiscriminate and unlawful attacks. More than a third of casualties in Gaza are children and countless bodies are still trapped beneath the rubble. Millions more face further displacement, dispossession and suffering.

At least 200 Israeli hostages taken by Hamas and other armed groups and held in Gaza remain in danger, and ongoing indiscriminate rocket fire into Israel places civilians at risk. 

Israel’s tightened siege of Gaza has blocked the entry of goods, including water, food and fuel leaving more than 2 million people in the Gaza Strip struggling to survive. The humanitarian catastrophe stemming from Israel’s 16-year-long illegal blockade on the occupied Gaza Strip will only get worse if the fighting doesn’t stop immediately.

Serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, by all parties to the conflict continue unabated. In the face of such unfettered devastation and suffering, humanity must prevail. The Foreign Minister has recently called for a pause in hostilities. This isn’t enough.

We need the Foreign Minister to call for a sustained ceasefire to prevent further loss of civilian lives, and to ensure access to life-saving aid for people in Gaza amidst an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.

Send your email to Foreign Minister Wong and demand a sustained ceasefire!