Defence support for assisted-departures for Australians

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The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

dpm.media@defence.gov.au

02 6277 7800


The Hon Penny Wong

Leader of the Government in the Senate

Minister for Foreign Affairs


The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Minister for Government Services

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16 October 2023

The Australian Government has safely airlifted 255 people utilising two Royal Australian Air Force flights (a KC-30A and a C-17A Globemaster III) and a Government-supported private charter from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The deployment of the two Defence aircraft, activated under Operation BEECH, follows the commencement of Australian Government assisted-departure flights from Tel Aviv on 13 October, 2023. Including the first flight on October 13, operated by Qantas, more than 400 Australians have now been airlifted from Israel on Government-supported flights.

Subject to factors including the security environment, the Australian Government is planning additional flights departing from Tel Aviv to Dubai today, for Australians wanting to leave. We encourage Australians wanting to leave to take these opportunities.

In addition, we have secured flights for onward travel to Australia for Australians arriving in Dubai.

The situation is highly challenging and rapidly changing. The Australian Government is considering whether further assisted-departure flights are required.

Australians in the affected areas who want to leave need assistance with departure should register via DFAT’s Crisis Portal or by calling the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 (from overseas) or 1300 555 135 (from within Australia).
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue to provide updates to registered Australians.

Since Thursday, Services Australia has been assisting in the response to this developing crisis, with experienced staff taking consular calls on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Services Australia is also working with DFAT to identify what additional services may be required as the situation evolves over the coming days and weeks to ensure Australians are supported in their time of need, such as a referral avenue to social workers if required.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Richard Marles MP:

The safety of Australians impacted by this conflict is paramount for the Australian Government.”

“The activation of two Defence aircraft provides critical options for Australia as the conflict in Israel continues to evolve.

“Australian nationals and visa holders who wish to leave Israel should ensure they are registered with DFAT via their crisis portal.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Penny Wong:

More than 1,200 Australians previously registered have now left Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including more than 400 Australians and their families on four Australian Government assisted-departure flights.

“We continue to consider options to assist Australians who want to leave Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

“We encourage Australians who want to leave to take the first option available, do not wait for a different option.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Government Services, the Hon. Bill Shorten MP:

“The National Emergency Call Centre staffed by Services Australia plays a critical role in times of crisis.”

“Since the call centre activated at 2am on Thursday until midnight (AEDST), staff answered 1620 calls from people concerned about the situation in Israel and Gaza, seeking support to return home during this distressing time,” Minister Shorten said.

“It's important they know the Australian Government is ready to provide assistance, and I know the professional social workers and call centre staff at Services Australia will do everything they can to provide that help.”

Imagery will be available here: https://images.defence.gov.au/S20233080

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