An independent MP has downplayed suggestions of a rift after two Teals joined forces with the Greens to condemn Israel.

Sydney’s Sophie Scamps and Kylea Tink backed the Greens motion which unsuccessfully tried to amend a statement to condemn “war crimes perpetrated by the State of Israel, including the bombing of Palestinian civilians”.

The original motion, which had bipartisan support and was put by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, condemned Hamas and called for parliament to stand with Israel.

The Greens’ amendment was defeated 107 to seven. The motion was ultimately supported overwhelmingly, 134 votes to four, with only the Greens voting against it.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Goldstein MP Zoe Daniel said it would have been “inconsistent” with her past comments to vote for the motion.

“The amendment that was put forward by the Greens was going to cancel out the section of the bipartisan motion that was put forward by the government and the opposition, saying that Israel had an inherent right to defend itself,” she said.

“And, you know, I mean, I’ve said repeatedly in this interview that I think Israel does have the right to defend itself within the parameters that I’ve mentioned.”

The foreign correspondent turned MP said the suggestion of a split between herself and her Teal colleagues had been overblown.

“I note Peter Dutton was running around yesterday suggesting that, you know, all the teals voted for this amendment, which wasn’t true,” she said.

“But also, there’s no rift among the teals and indeed, there can be a rift in a party that’s not a party. We’re independents. We vote according to the needs of our communities and our conscience.”

On Wednesday, the Senate agreed 55 votes to 11 to a similar motion put by Foreign Minister Penny Wong. The Greens were the only senators to vote against the motion.

Australians warned to not delay as they flee Israel

Australians wanting to leave Israel have been warned to “take the first flight offered to you” amid a rapidly deteriorating situation.

There were tears and hugs at Sydney’s International Airport when the first flight, loaded with 222 people, landed on Tuesday.

Further flights will touch down in the days ahead, but the Australian government has paused its repatriation efforts.

Defence assets will stay in the region in case there is further need, but Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil has urged Australians wanting to leave Israel to not hesitate.

“The situation in the Middle East is deteriorating rapidly. We are urging people, if you want to leave, leave,” she told Sunrise.

“If you and your family want to leave Israel, take the first flight that is offered to you and get back to Australia as quick as you can.”

Ms O’Neil said the government was focusing its efforts on the 46 Australians stuck in Gaza.

“We’re doing everything we can. We hope that we’ll be able to report back something positive,” she said.

There is currently no way out of the besieged strip with the Rafah crossing into Egypt closed.

Humanitarian aid cannot get into Palestine, and water, food and electricity is running low because of Israel’s blockade.

The situation in Gaza is rapidly deteriorating and a humanitarian crisis is afoot. A major hospital was hit on Tuesday (local time), leaving at least 500 people dead, according to reports.

At this stage, neither Israel or Hamas have taken responsibility for the strike.

Foreign minister Penny Wong says the protection of civilian lives “must come first”.

“The scenes from the explosion at a Gaza City hospital are deeply distressing. It is clear there has been a devastating loss of life,” she said in a statement.

“Our thoughts are with those killed, those injured and their loved ones.

“The protection of civilian lives must come first and respect for international humanitarian law is paramount.

“We condemn any indiscriminate attacks and targeting of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals.”

Ms Daniels said if Israel was behind the attack, it amounted to a “war crime”.

“Protection of civilians is critical at a time of conflict and within the international rules of war,” she told ABC Radio.

“Israel has a right to self defence within these parameters, but we have to be careful that a sort of tit-for-tat escalation could be very, very difficult to rein in.”

Alan Joyce under fire for trip to Ireland

Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie has reaffirmed her determination to bring former Qantas boss Alan Joyce before the Senate.

Mr Joyce has spent the last six weeks in Ireland with family after leaving the national carrier.

He had been told that when he arrived back in Australia, he would need to appear before the senate inquiry probing the government’s decision to deny Qatar Airways’ bid to double its flight offerings to Australia.

He did not arrive back before the committee’s reporting period ended.

Senator McKenzie will move to reinstate the committee, so that Mr Joyce, and Transport Minister Madeleine King can be summoned to appear.

Senator McKenzie told Sky News that Mr Joyce and Ms King needed to front up to answer “serious and legitimate questions” about whether Qantas had played a role in the government’s decision to block Qatar.

“All the crumbs of evidence that our inquiry has heard lead to only three people knowing why the protection racket for Qantas is being run, and that’s the Prime Minister, Minister King, and Alan Joyce,” she said.

“So today is a real test for the Labor Party, on whether they will continue to run a protection racket for him or ensure that the Australian people, through their senators, get a chance to really ask questions of the former CEO of Qantas.”

She said if Mr Joyce continued to dodge the Senate, there would be “serious penalties”.

“This guy needs to rock up,” she said.

“And Labor needs to allow the Senate to do its work, instead of continuing to run a protection racket.”

Albanese to meet with Fiji PM

The Prime Minister of Fiji will ask for Australia’s support to designate the Pacific as an “ocean of peace” when he meets with Mr Albanese on Wednesday morning.

Sitiveni Rabuka detailed his plan to put forward the proposal at the Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting in the Cook Islands next month at a Lowy Institute event on Tuesday evening.

In his speech, Mr Rabuka warned the Pacific did not want to be forced to choose between China and the United States.

“Like the rest of humanity, and like you in Australia, the people of our ocean are aware the planet might be on the edge of something terrible,” Mr Rabuka said.



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