Israeli’s Sharren Haskel rejects Australia’s call for a humanitarian pause of hostilities


Israel has accused Hamas of stealing petrol from the United Nations refugee agency in Gaza and using it for military infrastructure.


“So, I’m sorry, you cannot ask from Israel to supply Hamas with those things… And that’s while Hamas has hostages in captivity, whose lives depend on how quickly we do this operation as well.”

The United Nations, the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Canada have also backed calls for a humanitarian pause.

Speaking at the UN in New York, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said: “How can you agree to a ceasefire with someone who swore to kill and destroy your own existence?

“The proportional response to October 7 massacre is the total destruction of Hamas. It is not only Israel’s right to destroy Hamas, it is our duty.”

She said Israel would not bomb the delivery of any supplies passing through the humanitarian corridor at the Egypt-Gaza border and would comply with the Geneva conventions on warfare.

Haskel, who worked as a veterinarian in Sydney’s Bondi before being elected to the Knesset, said Israelis would “of course” appreciate a visit by Albanese.

“And not just that we want to see but, to be honest, we expect to see it,” she said, saying that world leaders including US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron had visited the country in recent days.

“Australia has always stood on the right side of history throughout all the world’s wars and yes, [a prime ministerial visit] is something that we would expect.”

Asked during a press conference in Washington whether he was seeking a phone call with Netanyahu, Albanese said the Israeli prime minister was extremely busy and that a phone call with his Australian counterpart would not be at the “top of the list”.

Israeli MP Sharren Haskel says Israel would expect Anthony Albanese to visit and show his support.

Israeli MP Sharren Haskel says Israel would expect Anthony Albanese to visit and show his support.Credit: Kate Geraghty

Opposition home affairs spokesman James Paterson this week called on Albanese to send Wong to Israel in a sign of support if he was unable to make the trip himself.

Haskel said she found it “heartbreaking” that some pro-Palestinian supporters chanted antisemitic slogans when the Sydney Opera House was illuminated in the colours of the Israeli flag after the attacks, and that NSW police felt it necessary to ask Jewish Sydneysiders to stay away from the area.

She mentioned rape and the murder of children as crimes, asking while wiping a tear from her eye: ”How does that advance the Palestinian cause?”

“And then I hear them chanting ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’, which means it will be free of Jews.”

She said Israel’s war against Hamas was not merely a “territorial war” but “the start of that clash of civilisations”.

“We’re going into a wider conflict,” she predicted. “It’s going to take a long time; it’s going to probably include a few fronts.

“Countries around the world need to decide which side are they on: the side of radical Islam or the side of the free world and democracies.”


If the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah enters the conflict it would likely trigger a war between the US and Iran that would draw in countries across the Middle East and beyond, she said.

Noting that Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation in Australia, she urged Australian law enforcement authorities to punish anyone displaying its flag or providing funding to the group.

Hawkish on national security and an advocate of free market economics, Haskel is a passionate supporter of LGBTQ rights and the legalisation of cannabis, progressive issues now taking backstage.

Describing the atmosphere of shock and national unity that has taken hold in Israel since the attacks, Haskel said: “The seventh of October has changed everything. Nothing will be the same after this war, as well.”


Expressing alarm about the level of misinformation and conspiracy theories circulating online about the Hamas attacks, which killed an estimated 1400 people in Israel, Haskel accused the terror group of engaging in “psychological warfare” by exaggerating the number of civilian casualties in Gaza.

Casualty numbers are provided by the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. The figures are generally accepted as reliable by the United Nations and by Human Rights Watch which has found no major discrepancies in its investigations of past conflicts.

More coverage of the Hamas-Israel conflict

  • Cascading violence: Tremors from the Hamas attacks and Israel’s response have reached far beyond the border. But what would all-out war in the Middle East look like?
  • The human cost: Hamas’ massacre in Israel has traumatised – and hardened – survivors. And in Gaza, neighourhoods have become ghost cities.
  • ‘Hamas metro’: A labyrinthine network of tunnels, snakes under war-ravaged Gaza, which the Palestinian militant group has commanded for 16 years. The covert corridors have long provided essential channels for the movement of weapons and armed combatants.
  • What is Hezbollah?: As fears of the conflict expanding beyond Israel and Hamas steadily rise, all eyes are on the militant group and political party that controls southern Lebanon and has been designated internationally as a terrorist group. How did it form and what does Iran have to do with it?

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