Two leading Jewish organizations, the Zionist Federation of Australia and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, have issued a joint statement expressing deep concern over Foreign Minister Penny Wong's recent remarks on Israel's military actions.
The groups accused Senator Wong of promoting "false and harmful" narratives related to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Senator Wong had urged the Israel Defence Forces to "cease the attacking of hospitals" in Gaza, emphasising the importance of protecting medical facilities and civilians.
However, the ZFA and ECAJ countered this, stating there was "no evidence" that Israel was violating the rules of armed conflict.
In their joint statement, the organisations referenced Article 19 of the Geneva Convention, arguing that hospitals lose protection if used for military purposes, which they claimed was the case with Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza.
They asserted that any Israeli attacks on these hospitals were not war crimes but necessary actions against military use by Hamas.
The groups also called out Senator Wong for potentially lending credibility to a "false and harmful narrative" and called on the government to explicitly hold Hamas responsible for civilian casualties.
They insisted that the complete removal of Hamas from power was the only way to ensure a lasting ceasefire and prevent further suffering.
The statement from the Jewish organizations echoed sentiments expressed by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who earlier rejected calls for a ceasefire, equating them to asking the nation to "surrender to terrorism."