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Albanese calls leader of Palestinian Authority

President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly urged Australia to recognise the state of Palestine.

President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly urged Australia to recognise the state of Palestine. Photo: AAP

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has spoken with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, condemning the Hamas attack on Israel and expressing his concern over civilian casualties in the Mideast conflict.

Mr Albanese, who is attending the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands, spoke with Mr Abbas on Thursday morning, reiterating Australia’s support for a two-state solution.

He underlined the need for international law to be observed and the paramountcy of the protection of civilians in Gaza and elsewhere.

Mr Albanese spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported on its website that Mr Abbas told Mr Albanese in a phone call that what was occurring in Gaza was “a genocide” that had to be stopped immediately.

He asserted the importance of bringing in relief aid to the Gaza Strip as soon as possible and preventing the displacement of Palestinians from there or the West Bank, including Jerusalem.

Anthony Albanese spoke with Mahmoud Abbas by phone from the Cook Islands. Photo: AAP

President Abbas affirmed the importance of a political solution based on the international legitimacy of the United Nations for Palestinians to achieve independence and sovereignty to ensure security for everyone in the region, Wafa reported.

He urged Australia to recognise the state of Palestine, saying the plans of Israeli occupation authorities could not be accepted.

The Palestinian Authority’s power base is in the West Bank but the Gaza Strip has been controlled by Hamas, considered a terrorist organisation by the Australian government.

Palestinian Hamas gunmen killed 1400 people and took 240 hostage during an October 7 incursion into Israel, Israel has said.

Israeli has responded with an air bombardment and ground invasion seeking to oust the Islamist group from Gaza.

Palestinian officials say 10,812 Gaza residents had been killed as of Thursday.

—AAP with Reuters

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