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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 2874


Senator DI NATALE (VictoriaLeader of the Australian Greens) (12:17): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 813, relating to Israel and Palestine, be taken as a formal motion.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to the motion being taken as formal?

An honourable senator: Yes.

Senator DI NATALE: President, in lieu of suspending standing orders, I seek leave to make a one-minute statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted.

Senator DI NATALE: I have to say, it's very disappointing, given that yesterday's motion on the same issue was not denied leave—a motion put forward by Senator Leyonhjelm. I will say: this is an important motion. On 15 May, many people in Israel are celebrating the creation of Israel but, at the same time, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, where in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced and lost their homes—and indeed, many were killed. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the state of Israel, but it also marks the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, and millions of Palestinians continue to suffer, living under occupation or as refugees.

The Greens express deep concern that at least 43 mostly unarmed and peaceful Palestinian protesters have reportedly been killed by Israeli forces since the end of March on the border of Gaza, including four minors and two journalists. We welcome the fact that six Israeli human rights groups are challenging the Israeli military's actions in court, and we express further deep concern at Palestinian President Abbas's recent anti-Semitic comments.