MP’s first-hand account of Gaza conflict

Australia’s former ambassador to Israel has revealed what will stop the conflict and the civilians suffering in Gaza.

Liberal MP Dave Sharma has opened up about living near the war-torn region of Gaza, saying he remembers air raid sirens blaring and going into a bomb shelter.

Mr Sharma experienced the conflict in 2014 when he held the position of Australian ambassador to Israel.

Speaking on Sky News on Monday about the latest attacks in Gaza City, Mr Sharma said the conflict would continue until Hamas stopped firing rockets.

“They are the ones that can stop this,” he said.

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Mr Sharma said he visited Gaza a few months after the 50-day war in 2014 ended.

“I remember air raid sirens going off, I remember going to the bomb shelter,” Mr Sharma said.

“(I) saw the suffering that had gone on there.

“It is one of these conflicts where no one really comes out a winner, and suddenly the civilians bear the brunt of it on both sides.”

Mr Sharma, who was the ambassador from 2013 to 2017, said civilian casualties on the Gaza side strengthened Hamas’ standing in the “propaganda and information war”.

He cautioned that Hamas’ decision to end the conflict would not be a conventional one.

“Either when they think they have kind of given themselves enough of a propaganda victory to secure their hold on power or if their leadership and military infrastructure and arsenal becomes so degraded because of Israeli counter strikes that they start to worry about their own grip on power,” he said.

“That is really what brought the last conflict to an end.”

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