Australian Air Force joins repatriation efforts in Israel
Canberra: The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has joined the effort to repatriate Australian citizens stranded in Israel.
Richard Marles, the Minister for Defence and Deputy Prime Minister, Penny Wong, Foreign Affairs Minister, and Bill Shorten, the Minister for Government Services, on Monday evening announced that two RAAF aircraft joined a government-supported charter to fly 255 Australian citizens from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to Dubai on Monday.
The two heavy transports, a KC-30At and C-17A Globemaster III, were the first aircraft deployed by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to join the operation to repatriate Australian citizens in Israel who wish to leave the area, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, more than 1,200 Australians who registered their desire to depart from the area have left, more than 400 of whom were on board government-supported flights.
“The safety of Australians impacted by this conflict is paramount for the Australian Government,” Marles said in a joint statement with Wong and Shorten.
“The activation of two Defence aircraft provides critical options for Australia as the conflict in Israel continues to evolve.”
As of Monday, the government was considering whether further assisted-departure flights were required, urging citizens who still want to leave the area to do so at the earliest opportunity.