It is with relief that I rise today to commend Israel and Palestine for agreeing to a ceasefire, as well as Egypt for mediating the truce. The violence and loss of life that we have seen in Jerusalem and Gaza is tragic, and the rocket attacks against civilians are unacceptable. Many Canberrans have contacted me in shock and dismay at the violence, with many particularly distressed about the rights of children.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described Gaza as hell on earth for children. Over 200 Palestinians, including at least 65 children, have died, thousands have been wounded and the health system in Gaza cannot keep up. In Israel, the death of 12 people, including two children, is also a shocking tragedy. Yesterday, 150 people stood outside this building, the Australian Parliament House, calling for the violence and unrest to stop. I join with them, Senator Penny Wong and the foreign minister to condemn this violence and reiterate Australia's commitment to a two-state solution.