The Greens have staged a protest in the Senate, the second in just four days, with the minor party reiterating its call for the Albanese government to support a ceasefire in Gaza.

Thousands of Palestinians have fled the north of the beleaguered enclave in recent days as the Israeli bombardment on Hamas militants has intensified.

Greens foreign affairs spokesperson Senator Jordan Steele-John moved a motion in the upper house calling for a ceasefire on Thursday afternoon, leading a chant of “ceasefire now” with his minor party colleagues.

“The Australian government can’t wait a moment longer to support a ceasefire,” Senator Steele-John told the chamber.

The Greens senators held up signs reading ‘ceasefire now’ before being shut down by the deputy president.

Senator Steele-John alleged Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza amounted to “war crimes”, and noted the death toll which has reached more than 10,000 according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

In response, Foreign Minister Penny Wong claimed the Greens were seeking to make a “political point”, and stressed that while Israel had a right to defend itself, the manner in which this occurs is critical.

“We are joining the international community including the G7 in calling for pauses on hostilities because we understand that food, water, fuel medicine and other essential assistance must be delivered into Gaza,” she said.

“The international community will not accept ongoing civilian deaths.”

Opposition senate leader Simon Birmingham labelled the Greens’ intervention as “pathetic” and questioned how a ceasefire would work in practice.

“The serious and complex issues in Israel and Gaza require a far more sombre and considered response than the childish stunts and university tactics of the Australian Greens,” he said. 

The Greens motion was defeated, with the Coalition and the government siding against the proposal.

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