Support for Gaza ceasefire and more government action swells in Australian community

Temporary shelters housing people displaced by the conflict in Gaza. Photo credit: CRS.

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 Caritas Australia, Plan International Australia, Oxfam Australia, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, ActionAid Australia and Baptist World Aid conducted 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. 

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.

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.