Australia’s foreign minister, Penny Wong, has condemned escalating violence and terror attacks in the Middle East.
Her comments follow rocket attacks fired into Israel from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military has fired rockets back, blaming the incident on Hamas.
Tensions in the region were high following Israeli police raids on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan, where police were filmed beating worshippers.
Wong said Australia was deeply concerned by the escalating violence in the region.
“During this time of Ramadan, Pesach [Passover] and Easter, we call on all parties to immediately halt the violence, exercise restraint and restore calm,” she said on Sunday.
“Australia condemns unreservedly the indiscriminate rocket attacks from southern Lebanon and Gaza, and recognises Israel’s right to defend itself.”
The escalating violence included a car ramming attack in Tel Aviv which led to the death of an Italian tourist and the wounding of five others.
The car ramming came hours after two sisters were killed in a shooting attack in the West Bank.
“We are shocked by the horrifying news of deadly terror attacks in the West Bank and Tel Aviv and our thoughts go to the victims’ families and the injured. Terrorism and violence can never be justified,” Wong said.
“Australia calls on all parties to respect and protect the sanctity and status of Jerusalem’s holy sites. Violence at Al Aqsa, including against worshippers, is reprehensible.”
Wong has called for security operations to be proportionate and in accordance with international law.
“Events in recent days are urgent reminders of the need for leaders to work together to foster the conditions necessary for tolerance and peace,” she said.