Mr Daryl Melham MP, Labor member for Banks

Party positions on the Question of Palestine
September 2013 Federal Election, Banks electorate, New South Wales

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the Australian Labor Party’s position on Palestine and the Middle East Peace Process.

The Rudd Labor Government strongly supports a negotiated two-state solution that allows a secure Israel to live side by side with an independent future Palestinian state. We welcome the fact that both sides have returned to direct negotiations.

Leadership from the United States, particularly the Secretary of State John Kerry, has been crucial to bringing the two sides to the negotiating table.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has confirmed his government’s commitment to a peaceful two-state solution.

President Abbas has said the Palestinians were prepared to implement all their commitments and obligations.

Federal Labor has consistently called on both sides to refrain from action that undermines prospects for negotiations, and considers a negotiated two-state solution is the only way to realise a Palestinian state.

The Labor Government’s decision to abstain on the 2012 Palestinian statehood resolution balanced Australia’s support for a future Palestinian state and our view that the only way to achieve the reality of statehood for the Palestinians is direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Federal Labor Government has repeatedly called on Israel to stop settlement activity, noting that its settlements are illegal under international law, including amounting to a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and that settlement activity undermines the prospects for peace.

Australia’s aid program will provide $300 million in assistance to the Palestinian people over five years (2011-2016), including $120 million in direct budget support to the Palestinian Authority, to help build stronger civil institutions and prepare for eventual statehood.

Yours sincerely,

Daryl Melham