Senator Fatima Payman has resigned from Australia’s ruling Labor Party just days after defying the party to support a motion on Palestinian statehood.

Labor imposes strict penalties for those who undermine its policy positions, and Ms. Payman had already been “indefinitely suspended” from the party’s caucus after pledging to vote against the party again.

“This is a matter I cannot compromise on,” the 29-year-old said on Thursday, expressing that she was “deeply torn” over her decision.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese mentioned that Ms. Payman had thanked him for his leadership and denied allegations that she had been intimidated into quitting.

Ms. Payman will now join the crossbench as an independent senator.

The 29-year-old Muslim lawmaker, whose family fled Afghanistan after it fell to the Taliban in 1996, is Australia’s first and only hijab-wearing federal politician.

“Unlike my colleagues, I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of injustice. My family did not flee a war-torn country to come here as refugees for me to remain silent when I see atrocities inflicted on innocent people,” she said during a press conference announcing her resignation.

The conflict in Gaza has become a volatile political issue in Australia that all sides have sought to manage carefully.

Officially, the government favors a two-state solution but did not back the motion on statehood after trying—and failing—to insert a condition that any recognition should be “as part of a peace process.”


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