CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister has welcomed a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as "a marvelous humanitarian thing."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott's conservative government is a staunch ally of Israel, and angered Arab and Islamic countries in June by changing its description of East Jerusalem from "occupied" to "disputed."
He said on Friday that Australia had been working at the United Nations and elsewhere for an immediate ceasefire.
Abbott told reporters he deplores "the indiscriminate rain of missiles from Gaza on to Israel" and "any actions which result in civilian deaths."
Israel and Hamas have agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza for 72 hours, although Secretary of State John Kerry cautioned that the lull in violence did not guarantee an end to the conflict.