ZFA statement on the joint Australia-Canada-New Zealand Rafah statement

Official Statements

On Thursday, the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand issued a joint statement, about the possibility of an Israeli military operation in Rafah. The Zionist Federation of Australia has issued this statement in response:


The Zionist Federation of Australia notes the joint statement issued by the Prime Ministers of Australia, New Zealand and Canada in relation to reports of potential military action in Rafah and the impact on Palestinian civilians in the area. The joint statement also reinforces the Australian Government’s clear position that the hostages must be released and Hamas must surrender. The ZFA also notes Senator Wong’s reiteration in Estimates today that Hamas must have no role in governing Gaza in the future.

ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “It is extremely disappointing and frankly unreasonable for the Government to call for the removal of Hamas from power as the only pathway to end the war and simultaneously call on Israel to refrain from entering Rafah to remove the last remaining Hamas stronghold. It places Israel in an impossible position and sets a precedent that terrorist organisations will have immunity by hiding behind civilians. The simple fact is that Israel did not start this war and does not want this war. If it were possible to rescue the hostages and remove Hamas from Gaza without risking any civilian lives or the lives of Israeli soldiers, Israel would do so. As demonstrated by the rescue of two Israeli hostages last week from Rafah, it is clear that Hamas continues to operate from that area, knowing they are putting Palestinian civilians at risk”.

Mr Leibler continued, “The humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire and has been brought about by Hamas’s tactic of shielding itself within civilian areas, which is a gross violation of the laws of armed conflict.  Israel has consistently warned civilians before undertaking military operations and has made it clear that it would only commence a ground operation in Gaza after ensuring that are arrangement in place to minimize civilian casualties”.

Mr Leibler concluded, “The Hamas-Israel war could end tomorrow, if only Hamas were to surrender and release the hostages. While the Australian Government has rightly reiterated this point, we call on all governments, including Australia, to focus their efforts on applying this pressure on Hamas. This is the only pathway to addressing the significant humanitarian crisis in Gaza and ending the war.”

Share this post

Program Partners

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Organisational Partners

Subscribe for the latest news and events