Australians warned to ‘reconsider’ travel as conflict escalates in Israel

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Australians have been urged to “reconsider your need to travel” to Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories as conflict intensifies.

In an update on DFAT’s Smart Traveller website, Australians have been told to avoid all non-essential travel to the country due to the volatile security situation.

“Rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza. There have been separate terror attacks on civilians,” DFAT said in their warning.

“The Israeli government has declared a state of emergency across the whole country”

There is also a “do not travel” warning for Gaza, and areas near the border.

Israel is “at war” after Hamas militants launched a surprise attack from Gaza on Saturday. Since then, hundreds of Israelis have been confirmed dead and hostages have been taken.

Israel has returned fire on Gaza, and on Monday announced a total blockade, cutting food electricity and blocking food and fuel supplies as part of a “complete siege” on Gaza.

In return, Hamas has vowed to kill one hostage for every rocket attack Israel launches.

Already, more than 800 Israelis and some 500 Palestinians have been killed.

The United Nations said more than 123,000 Palestinians in Gaza had been displaced amid the intense bombardment.

Australians in northern parts of the country near the Lebanon border have also been told to co-operate with Israeli officials, who have asked residents of towns like Rosh Hanikra, Adamit, Bezet, and Hanita to evacuate.

The updated advice comes amid clashes between Israel and Palestine supporters in Sydney on Monday night, where the Israeli flag was burned outside the Sydney Opera House.

The pro-Palestine rally, which Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had urged people not to attend, was attended by thousands of protesters and overseen by hundreds of police.

The Sydney Opera House, alongside other major Australian landmarks including Parliament House, had been lit up with Israel’s flag on Monday night.

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