The violence needs to end; the rockets need to stop; the cycle of violence will never be solved by more violence. I continue to hold hope that one day we will see a true, lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Mr BURNS (Macnamara) (16:35): I want to speak about the very distressing events occurring in Israel and the Palestinian territories over the past few days. I’m sure I speak for all Australians when I say that any loss of civilian lives is heartbreaking and unacceptable. It is especially a tragedy when we see children become victims of a cycle of violence. We all want to see this violence end, and we want to see de-escalation from all sides. Violence begets violence, but I want to be very clear: there is no justification for targeting innocents civilians or using them as human shields. There is no justification for the actions of Hamas, recognised by Australia as a terrorist organisation, firing a barrage of rockets and missiles at Israel, at civilian populations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, at schools, hospitals and homes.
I have friends and family who spent much of last night in bomb shelters alongside the constant blaring of sirens and rockets that were incoming. I know that so many of my constituents have heard the same distressing stories from their family and friends. If rockets were being fired at Melbourne, Sydney or Canberra, there is no doubt the Australian Defence Force would be responding in the same way. The great tragedy is that many of these rockets fired by Hamas have misfired or fallen short and killed innocent Palestinian people. The violence needs to end; the rockets need to stop; the cycle of violence will never be solved by more violence. I continue to hold hope that one day we will see a true, lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.