Australians In Israel Offered One Last Lifeline Home

The government will offer one more flight from Tel Aviv, which the foreign affairs minister says will be its last for the foreseeable future.

Date: 19-10-2023 04:00

Australians In Israel Offered One Last Lifeline Home

Australians caught in the crossfire of the Israel-Hamas conflict have been offered one last chance to fly home.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong announced a planned flight set to leave from Tel Aviv to Dubai on Thursday will be the last assisted departure.

“For Australians who want to leave, we strongly encourage you to consider this flight,” she wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“Don’t wait for another option. This will be our last flight for the foreseeable future.”

Any stragglers have been urged to call the Consular Emergency Centre if they wish to take advantage of the final flight.

Overnight, 252 passengers from Israel – including 126 Australians – landed in Sydney on an assisted flight as part of the government’s continuing efforts to repatriate citizens from the conflict-stricken region.

An additional assisted-departure plane flew another 59 passengers from Tel Aviv to Dubai the same night.

In total, more than 1580 previously registered Australians have left Israel and Palestinian territories.

The government is also working to support Australians wanting to leave the West Bank as it liaises with international partners to arrange transport to Jordan.

But the safety of the 46 Australians in Gaza remains unknown after Israel unleashed a barrage of air strikes on the territory.

Tel Aviv’s decision to impose a full blockade on Gaza, laying siege to the 2.3 million Palestinians living in the area, has also worsened the situation.

Civilians in Gaza have no power, water is scarce and the dwindling fuel sources used for emergency generators will soon run out.

Senator Wong said the situation in Gaza was “extremely challenging”.

“We know this is a very distressing time for Australians in Gaza and their families at home,” she said.

“We continue to support the work of the US, Egypt and others to open the Rafah crossing.”

The government previously told citizens to move to the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, in case a humanitarian window opens, but there is no guarantee this will eventuate or how long it might remain open.

Israel has begun amassing its forces to strike Islamist terrorist group Hamas, after an October 7 attack that has now killed more than 1400 of its people and led to more than 150 being taken hostage.

The Israeli Defence Force’s retaliatory bombing campaign has killed at least 3400 in the territory.

Hundreds of civilians were also killed in a Gaza hospital blast, which Hamas has blamed on Israel.

Israel countered that it was caused by a rocket misfire from Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.

Consular Emergency Centre: +61 2 6261 3305 (from overseas) or 1300 555 135 (from within Australia)

– AAP




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