The Australian Government strongly condemns the decision of Hamas to reject a ceasefire to hostilities between Israel and extremist groups in Gaza.

Hamas claims to represent Gaza, yet it has jeopardised the welfare of its own people by rejecting the proposal for a ceasefire.

The Israeli Government demonstrated leadership by accepting the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire proposal.

I acknowledge the support of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the ceasefire and his call for all Palestinian factions to accept it, in order to stop the bloodshed and protect the interests of the Palestinian people. 

The Australian Government has listed Hamas as a terrorist organisation pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1373, which deals with the prevention and suppression of terrorist acts.

Australia continues to call on all parties to exercise restraint and to restore the ceasefire agreement of November 2012.

Australia remains of the view that a negotiated two-state solution, with Israel and the Palestinians living in peace and security within internationally-recognised borders, remains the only durable basis for peace.

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