Nineteen Australians are stuck in Gaza and are pleading with the Albanese government to help them leave.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has announced three repatriation flights in conjunction with Qantas to help some of the more than 10,000 Australians in Israel, said the government was looking to help the registered to be in Gaza out of the conflict zone.
Israel declared war after Hamas – recognised by Australia as a terrorist organisation – launched a surprise operative on the weekend, murdering innocent Israelis in their homes and at music festivals, and taking about 100 people hostage.
Thousands of Israeli and Palestinian civilians have been killed.
The Palestinian territory has also been completely cut off after Israel announced it would not supply food, electricity, or medical supplies unless Hamas releases the hostages.
The first repatriation flight for Australians in Israel will occur on Friday, with “hundreds” of people having registered for assistance with DFAT.
Qantas’ repatriation flight will take people who wish to leave Israel to London, with the government working hard to figure out what comes after that.
Mr Albanese said DFAT was “working around the clock to ensure that Australians are kept safe” wherever they are.
“There are some 19 people who’ve registered to try to leave Gaza,” Mr Albanese told 9 News.
“We’re speaking with the Egyptian government as well about how we can get those people out of that area into safety as well.
“This is a complex exercise, but Australia is doing what it can.”
An Adelaide family who are in Gaza visiting family has told The Daily Telegraph how fearful they are for their life.
It comes as tensions flare back home after a pro-Palestine rally earlier this week outside the Sydney Opera House descended into anti-Semitism.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has doubled down on his calls for visa-holders caught up in the event to be deported.
ASIO boss Mike Burgess issued a rare public message on Thursday warning against inflaming tensions, saying “words matter”.
Mr Dutton said Mr Burgess was “understandably concerned” about some of the scenes playing out in Australia.
“If people are saying that they’re going to ‘gas the Jews’ or ‘eff the Jews’ that sort of conduct doesn’t have any place in our country,” he told Channel 9.
“It’s been condemned absolutely and rightly, that does incite violence.”
More to come.