Help for Australians stranded in Israel after Hamas attack
Australian Defense Force planes will help Australians who want to leave Israel after commercial flights were canceled due to escalating conflict in the region.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong confirmed that the government was planning “several flights” from Tel Aviv.
“We are coordinating options with partners who are helping their citizens leave,” she confirmed Sunday on X, formerly Twitter.
“We also organize flights to help travelers on their journey from Dubai to Australia.
“A further update will be provided directly to registered Australians in the coming hours.”
Foreign Minister Penny Wong (pictured) confirmed that the government was planning several repatriation flights from Tel Aviv amid the conflict in the region.
Ms Wong confirmed the news via a social media post, saying ADF planes would depart from Tel Aviv with Australians wanting to leave.
Two scheduled flights were canceled on Saturday due to a “very difficult and rapidly changing” environment.
More than 800 Australians were on board the first government-assisted flight which landed in London on Friday evening local time.
Around 10,000 Australians, many of whom have dual citizenship and are not looking to leave, are currently in Israel.
Defense Minister Richard Marles said the number of Australians wanting to leave Israel was in the “several hundred”.
He told the ABC that military aircraft would have greater flexibility than commercial options, but that circumstances, such as whether Israeli airspace remained open, could complicate matters.
“We are positioned, we intend to have flights up and running very soon, almost immediately,” he said.
“Military flights offer greater flexibility in these circumstances.”
A fireball erupts during an Israeli bombardment in the northern Gaza Strip on October 14.
Israeli forces said Saturday they were preparing for “significant ground operations” in Gaza in response to the deadly Hamas attack on October 7.
Mr. Marles said Israel had the right to defend itself but must “do so in a way where it acts according to the rules of war,” later clarifying that he believed this was the case. .
Liberal MP Julian Leeser said Australia needed to reconsider its diplomatic relations with Iran.
“Anyone who doesn’t think that Iran has supported and financed Hamas over the years simply hasn’t been paying attention,” he told ABC.
“Iran is the big disruptor in the Middle East, it’s disrupting Lebanon, it’s disrupting Syria. It is a malevolent force.
“I think our support for Iran, our maintaining diplomatic relations, in a sense gives Iran a level of support and global acceptance that I think we should question.”