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Support for Gaza ceasefire and more government action surges in Australian community as aid agencies call for urgent support

Oxfam Australia 3 mins read

Four in five Australians are in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza (81%), and a majority (53%) support the Australian Government taking more action to achieve that goal, new polling has found.

The YouGov polling also found support for a ceasefire is high across the political spectrum, and that the Gaza crisis remains an issue of deep concern, with almost one in three (30%) saying they would take it into consideration when deciding their vote at the next federal election.

The number of people in favour of a ceasefire has increased by almost 30% since a similar poll was conducted in November.

Humanitarian agencies including Plan International Australia, Oxfam Australia, Caritas Australia, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, ActionAid Australia and Baptist World Aid commissioned the polling to highlight the massive and growing concern in the Australian community about the drawn out and devastating war in Gaza.

The poll also revealed:

  • 89% of Labor voters support a ceasefire, with 62% supporting more government action;
  • 74% of Coalition voters are in favour of a ceasefire, with 45% supporting more action; 
  • Support for more action from the Australian Government is higher among younger people, with 61% of 18-34 year olds wanting the government to do more.

More than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 12,000 children, and thousands more injured and missing since the offensive was launched in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, with 134 hostages yet to be released.

One month after the ICJ ordered Israel to take immediate and effective action to prevent irreparable damage to the rights of Palestinians, Israel has intensified its military operations in Gaza, including in the ‘safe zone’ of Rafah where 1.5 million people are sheltering. 

The provision of humanitarian assistance continues to be woefully inadequate, and will only be made worse if UNRWA - which is responsible for most aid provision in Gaza - is forced to cease its operations within weeks due to funding suspensions, including by the Australian Government. 

Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain said: 

“In addition to their legal and moral obligations, these findings should compel our political leaders to ramp up their action and leave no stone unturned when it comes to pushing for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. The appalling destruction of Gaza and suffering of Palestinians must end now.”

Plan International CEO Susanne Legena said: 

“With two thirds of the death toll in Gaza women and children, Australians right across the political spectrum are telling us loud and clear that they are horrified by what they are seeing and that they want to see more done by the Australian Government. We have seen homes, hospitals, schools, decimated. The psychological suffering for children is unimaginable. Without a ceasefire, too many children will continue to be killed."

Caritas Australia CEO Kirsty Robertson said:

“We now have a population of 2.2 million, half of which are under the age of 15, facing the worst food crisis in the world. The scale of humanitarian assistance required to prevent further loss of life cannot be administered without a ceasefire.”

Aid agencies providing assistance in Gaza are calling on the Australian Government to use all diplomatic means available to ensure Israel complies with the ICJ ruling and to advocate for the release of all hostages. The Government should also ensure Australia is complying with the Genocide Convention by immediately suspending any military aid, military assistance, or military cooperation with Israel, and reinstating funds to UNRWA. 

In addition, Australia should support a permanent ceasefire and a path to peace and justice for all, that includes equal rights for Palestinian and Israeli people.   

[ENDS]

For interviews with CEOs of aid agencies, please contact:

Oxfam Australia – Lily Partland – 0418 118 687 / lilyp@oxfam.org.au 

Plan International Australia – Claire Knox – 0452 326 549 / claire.knox@plan.org.au  

Caritas Australia – Tara Harvey – 0484 002 021 / tara.harvey@caritas.org.au 

Baptist World Aid - Mike Bartlett - 0447 710 414 - Mike.Bartlett@Baptistworldaid.org.au 

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA - Lachlan Batchelor - 0404 469 462 / lbatchelor@apheda.org.au 

 

Notes to editor:

YouGov conducted the polling from 15 - 19 February 2024. 1,060 Australians aged 18+ were surveyed. A detailed Australian Polling Council Methodology providing full transparency is available here.

While more than half (53%) of Australians want the government to take more action to achieve a ceasefire, just one in four (25%) do not. Only 18% of Labor voters do not support the Australian Government in taking more action to achieve a ceasefire and only a third (33%) of coalition voters.

32% of Labor voters said they would consider this issue when they vote in the next federal election, compared to 27% of Coalition voters.

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