Sun, 14 Apr 2013 - 6:00 PM
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Wed, 13 Feb 2013 - 2:00 PM
Australian Leaders say Israel's actions appropriate
AUSTRALIA'S political leaders have expressed strong support for Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza.
Julia Gillard condemned the Hamas attacks, saying her government was gravely concerned at the escalating violence in the Middle East.
"Australia supports Israel's right to defend itself against these indiscriminate attacks. Such attacks on Israel's civilian population are utterly unacceptable," the Prime Minister said.
"Further escalations in rocket attacks from Gaza, such as those seen overnight, will not serve the interests of the Palestinian people or their cause for self-determination and statehood.
"We urge both Hamas and Israel to exercise restraint and to protect the lives of civilians."
Tony Abbott also backed Israel's response to the attacks.
"Israel has a right to self defence. And Israel has been under pretty serious attack from elements in Gaza for quite some time now," the Opposition Leader said.
"The authorities in Gaza plainly are not stopping those attacks, and it's perfectly appropriate for Israel to take strong steps in response.
"Australia should do what it can to ensure that the countries of the Middle East recognise and acknowledge Israel's right to exist within secure borders."
The Israeli military said 274 rockets had hit the Jewish state in the 28 hours since an Israeli strike killed a top Hamas commander, and that another 112 had been intercepted in mid-flight by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.