Somali Magazine – Penny Wong, Australia’s Foreign Minister, stated on Monday that Canberra wants to take the next steps towards a cease-fire in the beleaguered Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
“Australia has been clear in our calls for safe, sustained, and immediate humanitarian access so that essential assistance can reach people in need and civilians can reach safety,” Wong said after 31 people, including Australian citizens, left Gaza early Monday via the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border.
“We all want to take the next steps towards a cease-fire, but it cannot be one‑sided,” he said.
She went on to say that “the Australian government has facilitated the departure of a total of 62 people from Gaza.”
The death toll in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since October 7 has risen to 13,000, including nearly 5,500 children and 3,500 women, according to the Gaza media office on Sunday.
According to a statement, the number of injured has surpassed 30,000, with more than 75% of them being children and women.
The number of missing people has surpassed 6,000, with the majority of them believed to be under the wreckage of collapsed buildings, according to the report.
An Israeli embargo has also cut off Gaza from fuel, electricity, and water supplies, reducing humanitarian delivery to a trickle in the tiny enclave, which has been subjected to incessant air and ground bombardment by Israel since Hamas’s surprise offensive on Oct, 7.