Australia repatriates citizens from Israel by Friday after hundreds killed

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has declared two emergency flights have been chartered to fly the country’s nationals out of Israel.

The planes are scheduled to leave on Friday and Sunday for London from Israel Ben Gurion Airport.

Australian officials appear unsure how many of their citizens were in Israel with Mr Albanese saying the large number of Australians who live or travel to Israel made an exact count difficult. 

The move comes following the weekend’s shocking offensive by Gaza-based Hamas terrorists that swept into southern Israel leaving a trail of destruction and death. 

Israel has vowed to hit back at Gaza in response to the atrocities leading to fears the conflict could escalate.

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This has prompted many countries to secure flights out of Israel for their trapped nationals. 

On Wednesday, Mr Albanese said: “We are assessing all options to get Australians home as soon as possible who wish to travel back here,” said Albanese at a news conference.

Last Saturday, heavily-armed Hamas terrorists stormed bases of the Israeli army killing scores of soldiers and taking others captive.

Next, Hamas turned to the communities near the border striking without warning and reportedly shooting people on sight on the streets and in homes.

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Israeli authorities have reported more than 1,200 soldiers and civilians have been killed in the Hamas attacks.

In revenge, the Israeli military has begun bombarding the Gaza Strip with rockers and artillery sending the civilian death toll in the Palestinian enclave soaring.

On Tuesday, Israel said it had recaptured the border crossing with Gaza.

Meanwhile, according to health officials in Gaza, at least 950 Palestinians have been killed so far in the Israeli air strikes. 

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