More Australians evacuated from Tel Aviv have arrived back home, as the federal government looks to secure safe passage for those still stranded due to the Middle East conflict.
Some of them were collected from Israel on government flights on Monday.
Foreign minister Penny Wong posted to social media that Australia airlifted 194 people from Tel Aviv to Dubai on Monday, including 75 Australians and their families.
A further return flight for Australian evacuees is also due to depart London on Tuesday night, Australian time.
More than 220 Australians have arrived back in Sydney safely after an emergency flight from war-torn Israel. Pictured: A relieved woman arriving home shows off her passport after a flight from Tel Aviv to Dubai
Passengers are welcomed home by family and friends after arriving at Sydney International Airport on a DFAT repatriation flight from Israel
Relieved passengers who were evacuated from Israel wave to friends and family at Sydney airport on Tuesday evening
Australia helped to organise a flight for 194 people from Israel to Dubai on Monday night. Pictured: An Australian government official helped a passenger with travel documents
At least 45 Australians remain trapped in Gaza with limited access to water, electricity, fuel and food after Israel imposed a total blockade on the conflict-stricken territory.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the humanitarian situation in the region was ‘dire’, with efforts underway for those stranded to be able to cross the border out of Gaza.
‘The situation for Australians in Gaza and their families at home is deeply distressing,’ she told parliament on Tuesday
‘We are doing all we can to support the work of the United States, of Egypt and others to make the Rafah border crossing open for humanitarian purposes, including the passage of civilians.
‘Regrettably, efforts to secure passage have not yet been successful, despite many attempts.’
Senator Wong said the government was already planning accommodation and onward travel for Australians in Gaza should safe passage through the border crossing be secured.
The government has 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.
The foreign minister also confirmed the National Emergency Management Agency had activated plans that would provide assistance to those returning to Australia on the repatriation flights.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia was supporting repatriation efforts for neighbouring nations, coinciding with a visit to Canberra by the Fijian prime minister.
‘Australia is playing the role we always play in the Pacific family, to provide support where we can because obviously they don’t have the capacity to be able to help their citizens,’ he told reporters on Tuesday.
‘That is one way Australia is helping not only our own citizens but others as well.’
The head of ASIO Mike Burgess said the intelligence organisation warned of possible spontaneous violence following the Middle East conflict.
In a press conference alongside FBI director Christopher Wray in the US, Mr Burgess urged political leaders to advocate restraint.
‘We, of course, recognise this is a moment that drives feelings and attitudes in our respective countries and in Australia, so we’re on the lookout for that as we see protests and counter protests … but we do anticipate spontaneous violence around these,’ he said.
An Australian government official embraces a relieved passenger who was on board a flight from Israel to Dubai on Monday. A flight to Australia followed on Tuesday
Australia airlifted 194 people from Tel Aviv to Dubai on Monday, including 75 Australians and their families. Pictured: An official helps travellers to fill out paperwork
‘We do see a direct correlation between language that inflames tension and out of that tension does grow a small number of people who think violence is the answer.’
Israel has begun amassing its forces to strike Islamist terrorist group Hamas, after an October 7 attack that has killed more than 1300 people and led to more than 150 being taken hostage, making it the deadliest day in the nation’s history.
The Israeli Defence Force has retaliated by laying siege to the 2.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza and unleashing a continuous bombing campaign that has killed at least 2750 in the territory.
The Gazan civilians have no power, water is scarce and the dwindling fuel sources used for emergency generators could run out within the next day.
The United Nations says about one million Gazans have been driven from their homes.
More than 1200 Australians have already been evacuated from Israel and Palestine.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk