Sydney, Australia, Oct 25 (EFE).- Australia said Wednesday that it will send additional Australian Defence Force personnel and planes to the Middle East for the possible evacuation of its citizens amid an escalation of tension in the region following an attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Israel’s subsequent response.
“The deployment of Australian aircraft and supporting Defense personnel is a precautionary measure to support whole of Australian Government contingency options due to the risk of the security situation deteriorating further,” Defense Minister Richard Marles said on social media platform X.
Marles also urged Australians in the region wishing to leave “to take the first commercial option available to them.”
“The situation is challenging and rapidly evolving,” he said.
The Australian minister refrained from revealing where the planes and military personnel would be stationed although he told Channel 9 that they would not be based in Israel.
The surprise attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 has left more than 1,400 dead in Israel, whose retaliatory airstrikes have caused the death of almost 5,800 Palestinians, according to the Gaza health ministry.
Since the conflict erupted, the Australian government has organized several repatriation flights for its citizens stranded in Israel, while trying to evacuate over 100 Australians from the Palestinian territory. EFE