Illawarra MP Stephen Jones has acknowledged deep concerns within his multicultural community about the ongoing conflict and loss of life in Gaza and called for the war creating "unfathomable trauma and humanitarian disaster" to end.
"I'm aware of calls for the end to the war," he said.
"I wholeheartedly support and add my voice to this.
"Peace must prevail in the region through a two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians live securely and peacefully within internationally recognised borders.
"There is no long-term solution to the hostility in the Middle East unless these things are realised."
Mr Jones also strongly condemned Hamas' kidnappings on October 7 in which about 1200 people were killed and more than 200 others were taken hostage - and echoed the government's stance that Israel had the right to defend itself.
However, he said there must be "ensuring the protection of hospitals, medical staff, patients, journalists, civilians, aid workers - hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of whom have lost their life in this horrific conflict".
"What happened in October this year was horrific-absolutely horrific and despicable," he said.
"There's no excuse for what Hamas did. The killing of innocent people is never justified. The taking of hostages is never justified. While we've affirmed Israel's right to defend itself unequivocally, we have consistently emphasised that the way it defends itself absolutely matters."
He said the government continued to call for the protection of civilian life in Gaza, where more than 17,000 people have been killed according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
"Women, children, civilians are not guilty or culpable for the horrific crimes of Hamas and should not be punished for those horrific crimes," Mr Jones said.
"There has been too much death and too many innocent lives lost on both sides, and the need for a just and enduring solution, a just and enduring peace between Israelis and the Palestinians, must be realised.
"I've supported this cause from my first year in this place and well before that. To realise that enduring peace, hostages must obviously be released."
Mr Jones said the recent outbreak of war was affecting many of his constituents and must not be allowed to create division in his local community.
"The present outbreak of war unfolding is creating unfathomable trauma and humanitarian disaster which is reverberating deeply through my community and through other communities around the country and right throughout the world," he said.
"I understand this is a distressing time for many in my community and for many Australians. I've sought opportunities to communicate my thoughts and the views of the government directly to community leaders.
"Because of my duties here, I have not been able to attend every event that I would have liked to, but I want to reiterate my deeply felt concern of people within my community, concerns that I share."
"I come from a region that has got a strong multicultural community.
"We've lived together not just in harmony but with a deep understanding and mutual respect for each other's faiths and cultural backgrounds. I'm proud of the fact that multifaith communities, such as the Illawarra People for Peace, have come together from time to time over the years to stand up strong against attempts from within the community and beyond to divide us. It is one of the strengths of our community.
"We must not let this community divide us as well. We must maintain a respect for one another during this time. Hatred and violence are never the answer. We can't bomb our way to peace."