Israel yet to grant full access to Australian aid worker killing evidence, Penny Wong says

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun4,2024
Australia is still negotiating with Israel for access to certain evidence to try to find out what happened to Australian aid worker Zomi Frankcom.
On 2 April the government confirmed , when an Israeli drone strike hit a World Central Kitchen aid convoy.
Within days, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and announced the appointment of former defence chief Mark Binskin to investigate her death.

At the time, Albanese was pressed for clarity over air chief marshal Binskin’s scope, what primary source materials he would request from Israel’s government and military and the likelihood that he would go there to conduct his inquiries.

More than a month later, Foreign Minister Penny Wong has confirmed in an interview with SBS World News that Australia is still “in discussions” about that access.

“We are in discussions with the Israelis and I’m sure Mr Binskin will be afforded access to the information about the process they have undertaken in order to be able to report to me and the government,” Wong said, speaking from Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh following a listening tour inside the refugee camp.

The Department of Foreign Affairs told the Australian Associated Press on Wednesday that Binskin visited Israel this month as part of his inquiry.
“The Australian government welcomes Israel’s positive engagement with ACM Binsksin to date.
ACM Binskin will provide his report on Israel’s investigation to the Foreign Minister in due course,” the department said.

“The government has made clear to Israel its expectation of a full, thorough and transparent investigation, and demanded full accountability.”

It’s a complex diplomatic negotiation set against the backdrop of escalating international pressure on Israel to stop its deadly bombardments of Gaza and other areas.

Australia and Palestinian statehood

Australia has eventually, though the motion was watered down from its original intent to back that eventuality immediately.
That came after a speech in Canberra in April, where Wong floated the recognition of Palestinian statehood as a possible pathway towards a two-state solution, though she didn’t commit Australia to doing that.
Now the leaders of , announcing they will formally recognise Palestine for the sake of “peace in the Middle East”.
“Countries make their own decisions about the appropriate time,” Wong said.

“One of the things I have said is we do want to see more reform of the Palestinian Authority. We want to see movement towards peace on both sides. The first thing we need to do is the release of the hostages and immediate humanitarian ceasefire and of course more access for humanitarian aid.”

Earlier this week, the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Karim Khan announced he had applied for .
Albanese initially said he would not comment on proceedings before a court, while Opposition leader Peter Dutton condemned the ICC move as an “abomination”.
Wong has warned against any equivalence between Hamas and Israel and renewed the government’s appeal for hostages to be released and a humanitarian ceasefire.
“Australia does have an interest in the multilateral system, in the United Nations system continuing to be strong and robust and have the faith of the international community. That’s what we will always advocate for.”
Asked whether Israel is defending itself appropriately, Wong said she and the prime minister have consistently held a firm position.
“We have said Hamas is a terrorist organisation, we have condemned what occurred on 7 October, we know Hamas does not want peace. We’ve also said Israel does have an obligation to observe international humanitarian law and we continue to assert that,” she said.

“That’s something I’ve said privately to Israel and in my public statements.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Israel yet to grant full access to Australian aid worker killing evidence, Penny Wong says”
  1. Why is Israel still not granting full access to the evidence regarding the killing of the Australian aid worker? Are there any updates on the progress of negotiations with Israel?

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