Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong has called on Israel to cease its attacks on hospitals, expressing concern about the “harrowing” number of civilian deaths from its assault on Gaza.
“I would make this point in relation to hospitals and medical facilities: that international humanitarian law does require the protection of hospitals, of patients and of medical staff,” Wong told ABC’s Insiders programme on Sunday.
“And we do call on Israel to cease the attacking of hospitals. We understand the argument that Hamas is burrowed into civilian infrastructure. But, you know, I think the international community, looking at what is occurring in hospitals, would say to Israel: these are facilities protected under international law and we want you to do so.”
Wong, however, stopped short of calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
“We need steps towards a ceasefire. It cannot be one-sided,” Wong said.
“We know that Hamas is still holding hostages, and we know that a ceasefire must be agreed between the parties.”