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Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Page: 9867

Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Opposition Business in the Senate) (15:42): I seek leave to speak on this motion for one minute.

Leave granted.

Senator FIFIELD: The coalition oppose this motion because we do not believe that it is the path to peace and reconciliation between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. Our concern is that the drive for greater recognition at the United Nations is an attempt by the Palestinian leaders to internationalise the conflict by bringing action against Israel through various international courts. This is likely to escalate and prolong the conflict rather than lead to a resolution of disputes. The only path to peace is for the Palestinian leadership to officially recognise the right of Israel to exist and to halt the firing of rockets and mortars as part of a campaign by militants to terrorise and kill Israeli citizens. Australia has long supported the two-state solution and the right of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples to live peacefully and in safety within internationally recognised borders. We urge both sides to resume negotiations towards a lasting peace in the region.

Question put.