Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has paid tribute to Australian aid worker Zomi Frankcom who was killed in an Israeli airstrike, while connecting the deaths of civilians in Gaza to the October 7th attacks by Hamas.

Speaking from Sydney, Dutton said no one wants to see conflict in the Middle East:

[It is] a tragic circumstance where an aid worker has lost their life in a very difficult warzone. Obviously, nobody wants to see conflict of any circumstance in the Middle East. But it is a reality and our thoughts, our prayers and condolences also go out to her family and friends and to those who are there serving at the moment in harm’s way.

Of course, Hamas continues to hold hostages, 40 people, and they should be released immediately so that ceasefire can be entered into and the attacks on the 7th of October should never be forgotten … and the consequences that we see where innocent people [are] losing their lives in the Middle East at the moment, is a direct result of the Hamas attacks on 7th of October.”

Israel’s military chief says a deadly Israeli strike that killed seven aid workers in the Gaza Strip was the result of a “misidentification” in complex conditions.

Announcing the results of a preliminary investigation early Wednesday local time, Herzi Halevi expressed remorse over the killings and called the event a “grave mistake.”

People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza.

People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza.Credit: AP

“It was a mistake that followed a misidentification – at night during a war in very complex conditions. It shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

He gave no further details.

Halevi said an independent body would conduct a “thorough investigation” that would be completed in the coming days, and said the army appreciates the “important work” of the World Central Kitchen.

He said the conclusions of the independent investigation would be implemented immediately and shared with World Central Kitchen and other ‘relevant’ international organisations.

“We see great importance in the continued delivery of humanitarian aid, and we will keep working to facilitate this vital effort,” he said.

AP

The United Arab Emirates is pausing humanitarian aid efforts through the maritime corridor pending further safety guarantees and a full investigation, a UAE official told Reuters.

The UAE has been the main financier for aid through a maritime corridor to Gaza. The missions were arranged by World Central Kitchen, the organisation whose aid workers were killed in an Israeli airstrike earlier this week.

A World Central Kitchen shipment arrives to Gaza by sea.

A World Central Kitchen shipment arrives to Gaza by sea.Credit: AP

It comes as Anera, a Washington-based aid group, said it was taking the “unprecedented” step of pausing its operations in Gaza.

The group had been helping to provide about 150,000 meals daily.

“The escalating risks associated with aid delivery leave us with no choice,” it said in a statement.

“The killing of WCK humanitarians, occurring less than a month after the still-unexplained killing of Anera staff member Mousa Shawwa, alongside the loss of numerous other aid workers and their families, has led our team to conclude that delivering aid safely is no longer feasible.”

Shawwa, a 41-year-old support coordinator, was killed, along with family members, by an Israeli airstrike on March 8.

“For the safety of our staff and their families, we are suspending Anera’s work in Gaza.”

with Reuters

Earlier this morning, Greens senator Larissa Waters said she thinks Foreign Minister Penny Wong would be embarrassed for not calling for a permanent ceasefire.

The Greens have previously accused Australia of manufacturing parts for US planes being sent to Israel. In response, Wong had accused the Greens of politicising the war in Gaza.

Speaking on ABC radio, Waters said it was rich for Wong to accuse the Greens of making the Gaza war a political issue.

Greens senator Larissa Waters.

Greens senator Larissa Waters.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

“It’s a bit rich to be saying that the Greens are somehow doing wrong here, when we are simply calling for our government to be as strong [as the Greens] in supporting a peaceful and lasting, permanent ceasefire,” Waters said.

“The documents that were revealed in Senate estimates show that components of [Israeli] warplanes are coming from Australia.

“I know that’s inconvenient for the foreign minister and probably very embarrassing, but it doesn’t change the reality of the situation … we will keep calling out these atrocities, and we will keep calling on our government whichever political party it might be, to be better and to call out this genocide.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has shared his worries for social cohesion in Australia as he noted that “the global community is very concerned about the death toll that has occurred in Gaza”.

At a press conference in Canberra, Albanese was asked whether Israel was losing support overseas after the many civilian deaths in Gaza.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

Albanese pointed to the “extraordinary” resolution of the UN Security Council last week as evidence of a shift in the global community. The council successfully passed a resolution to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza after the US opted not to veto the proposal.

Albanese said Australians were “very concerned” about the situation in Gaza:

Australians don’t want the conflict – any conflict globally – to be played out here … I’m concerned about social cohesion here in Australia. I’m concerned about any attempt to try to seek some political advantage over events that happen in other parts of the world.

We have a multicultural nation here in Australia and we have communities both the Jewish community is feeling traumatised, the Arabic and Islamic communities are feeling traumatised as well.”

Anthony Albanese has rejected the suggestion that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was avoiding responsibility for the seven aid workers killed by an IDF airstrike in Gaza.

In Netanyahu’s video statement taking responsibility for the airstrike, he commented that “these things happen in war”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Credit: AP

Albanese said that Netanyahu “did accept responsibility on behalf of the Israeli Defence Force for this tragedy”, but that Australians would be concerned by what they are witnessing in Gaza.

There was no equivocation there. But I think that Australians will look at this and be deeply, deeply concerned that someone going about their work, providing aid in an exercise of humanity, could lose their life in this way is completely unacceptable.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he has spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Israeli strike that killed seven aid workers, including Australian Zomi Frankcom.

“I conveyed to Prime Minister Netanyahu in very clear terms that Australians were outraged by the death of this fine Australian,” he said of the phone call that took place overnight.

He continued:

This is completely unacceptable. The Israeli government has accepted responsibility for this, and Prime Minister Netanyahu conveyed his condolences to the family of Zomi Frankcom and to Australia as a result of this tragedy.

When I spoke with the prime minister, I emphasised the importance of full accountability and transparency, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has committed to full transparency about how this tragedy could possibly have occurred.

There is a need for a thorough investigation into what happened here, and Prime Minister Netanyahu is committed to that.”

Albanese again paid tribute to Frankcom, calling her “an Australian who we can all be proud of”.

This is someone who not only was in Gaza assisting people in need, but had in the past provided support for people in Bangladesh, in Pakistan, here in Australia after the bushfires. This was someone who was clearly committed to benefit her fellow humanity, and someone … whose loss is very deeply felt by her family, but I think felt by Australians as well.”

In announcing Samantha Mostyn as the next governor-general, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese highlighted some of her professional achievements.

Samantha Mostyn will begin her term as governor-general in July.

Samantha Mostyn will begin her term as governor-general in July.Credit: Renee Nowytarger

“Mostyn has worked for Reconciliation Australia, Beyond Blue, the Australia Council for the Arts, the National Mental Health Commission and for over a decade, the AFL, where as a member of the AFL Commission and the first woman appointed as a commissioner, she was a strong advocate for the creation of the AFL women’s competition,” Albanese said.

“In 2021, Mostyn was appointed an officer of the Order of Australia for her distinguished service.”

Mostyn then took to the microphone to introduce herself.

A Canberran, Mostyn completed arts and law degrees at the Australian National University. Her career has largely been in business.

“I’ve worked in the highest levels of many Australian companies and spent time working globally. I’ve also had the privilege of advising governments of all persuasions across the country,” Mostyn said.

Read more about Mostyn’s appointment here.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has named Samantha Mostyn as Australia’s next governor-general.

Mostyn is a businesswoman and lawyer. She was the first female AFL commissioner and, until recently, was the president of Chief Executive Women.

Mostyn is the second woman to hold the role of governor-general, following Dame Quentin Bryce who held the role from 2008 to 2014.

In a press conference, Albanese said Mostyn was an “exceptional leader who represents the best of modern Australia”.

“She has lived her life in the service of a powerful Australian principle: when more people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, our nation is a better place.”

Clarification: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Dame Quentin Bryce was the governor-general from 2003 to 2008. In fact, she was Queensland’s governor from 2003 to 2008 and governor-general from 2008 to 2014.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese held a press conference in Canberra.

Watch here:

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