The first chartered repatriation flight bringing Australians back home from Israel since war broke out in the Middle Eastern country has arrived in Sydney.
- The flight carrying 222 passengers arrived in Sydney about 6pm
- The Australian government has organised five flights from Tel Aviv since Sunday
- More than 1,400 registered Australians have left Israel and Palestinian territories
Qatar Airlines flight QR7424, carrying 222 people, landed about 6pm on Tuesday having left Dubai earlier in the day.
Some passengers were due to board domestic flights to return to their families, while others will be put up in hotel accommodation.
A second chartered flight is scheduled to leave London tonight and arrive at Kingsford Smith Airport about 7pm on Wednesday night.
The Australian government has organised five flights out of Tel Aviv since Sunday, just over a week after Hamas militants launched a terrorist attack on Israeli civilians and tourists on October 7.
Israel responded with air strikes and a siege on the densely-populated Gaza strip, a Palestinian territory.
Its military remains poised to roll out a ground operation in northern Gaza.
The death toll has risen to more than 4,150 — including 1,400 people in Israel and 2,808 Palestinians — while more than 14,000 have been injured, with the majority of those in Gaza.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong said more than 1,400 previously registered Australians have left Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
No more Australian flights were scheduled out of Tel Aviv on Tuesday, the senator said.
“The situation in Gaza is extremely challenging,” Ms Wong said.
“[The Department of Foreign Affairs] is in direct contact with Australian families seeking to leave Gaza, to provide updated advice on options to leave.”
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-17/nsw-first-australian-repatriation-flight-israel-arrives-sydney/102988364 First Australian repatriation flight from Israel lands in Sydney, carrying 222 passengers