Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong speaks during a joint press conference with Filipino Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo (not pictured) in Manila, Philippines, 18 May 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/LISA MARIE DAVID/POOL

Australia evacuates dozens of citizens from Israel

Sydney, Australia, Oct 17 (EFE).- Australia on Tuesday announced the evacuation of dozens of its citizens from Tel Aviv following an escalation of the conflict in the Middle East following Hamas’ attacks in Israel earlier this month.

“Australia has airlifted 194 people from Tel Aviv to Dubai overnight, including 75 Australians, their families and citizens from partner countries,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a post on social media platform X.

“222 people are now on their way home from Dubai on an Australian Government assisted-departure flight,” she added.

Since Australia began evacuation operations on Oct. 13, around 600 Australians and some 100 citizens of South Pacific nations have been evacuated, Defense Minister Richard Marles told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

An estimated 10,000 Australian citizens live in Israel although not all of them are expected to leave the country as a result of the conflict, which has already claimed the life of one Australian citizen with dual nationality.

Although Australia does not have any more evacuation flights planned, it will keep two Air Force planes in the region as a “contingency,” said Marles, who added that the government was trying to evacuate 45 Australians who are trapped in Gaza. EFE