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Over 2,000 Israelis, Palestinians Granted Australian Visas

In News, World
November 23, 2023

Over 2,000 Palestinians and Israelis have been granted temporary Australian visas since the conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated in October, the government has revealed.

According to data released by the Department of Home Affairs on Wednesday night, more than 2,500 visas were granted to Palestinians and Israelis with connections to Australia between October 7 and November 20.

Of those, 860 were for Palestinians and 1,793 for Israelis, Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said at a press conference.

“Obviously there is a lot of demand from those in the region for Australian visas for people who are eligible,” she added.

“These people have been subjected to the same security checks by Australian Border Force and authorities as you would expect any visa applicant would be required.”

According to state media the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the group have been issued with subclass 600 visitors visas that allow them to stay in Australia for between three and 12 months.

Wong described news of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as an “important and necessary” step but said the ultimate goal remained long-term peace in the region, Xinhua news agency reported.

She also on Wednesday confirmed that another 67 Australian citizens, permanent residents and their family members on Tuesday night left Gaza and entered Egypt via the Rafah border crossing.

It takes to 127 the total number of Australian citizens, permanent residents and family members who the government has helped leave Gaza since October 7.

The group was met by Australian consular staff in Cairo who will organise their repatriation to Australia.