(MENAFN) On Monday, Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong expressed Canberra's desire to progress towards implementing a cease-fire in the besieged Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
“Australia has been clear in our calls for safe, sustained and immediate humanitarian access so essential assistance can reach people in need and civilians can reach safety,” Wong declared as 31 people involving Australian civilians departed Gaza through the Rafah crossing on the borderline with Egypt early on Monday.
“We all want to take the next steps towards a cease-fire, but it cannot be one‑sided,” Wong further declared.
Up to this point, she stated, “the Australian government has facilitated the departure of a total of 62 people from Gaza.”
The reported figures on casualties and the situation in the Gaza Strip due to Israeli attacks since October 7th are highly concerning.
According to the media office in Gaza, the death toll has reached 13,000, including a significant number of children and women.
Over 30,000 people have been injured, with a substantial majority being children and women. Additionally, the number of missing individuals has surpassed 6,000, raising fears that many could be trapped under collapsed buildings.
Furthermore, an Israeli blockade has severely limited access to crucial resources like fuel, electricity, water supplies, and aid deliveries in the area, intensifying the already dire circumstances caused by relentless air and ground attacks since the surprise offensive initiated by Palestinian group Hamas on October 7th.
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