Image: Smartraveller

Australians Urged To Reconsider Travel Plans To Lebanon

Australians are urged to reconsider non-essential travel to Lebanon as the Israeli war continues to escalate.

Military and charter flights have also begun to evacuate Australian citizens from the war-torn country as it becomes too risky to operate Qantas and other commercial flights.

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On Sunday, Senator Penny Wong told Australians to not hesitate leaving Israel, as flights may suddenly be suspended – with just one of the scheduled flights leaving Tel Aviv on Friday as other emergency flights were cancelled.

There are over 1,200 Australians currently seeking repatriation flights.

“If you wish to leave, we strongly encourage you to take the first option that becomes available to you,” she said.

“I want to stress these flights remain subject to factors including the security environment.”

Over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government warned Hezbollah, the Iran-backed militant group based in southern Lebanon, not to start a war on a second front, threatening the “destruction of Lebanon” if it did.

Ms Wong advised those in Lebanon for non-essential business to consider leaving.

“The existing travel advice for Lebanon is ‘reconsider your need to travel due to the security environment’. I am now saying to Australians if you are in Lebanon you should consider whether you need to remain there is essential,” she said.

“If you wish to leave you should consider the first available option.”

The Australian Government’s Smartraveller has also echoed the advice.

“If you’re in Lebanon, you should consider whether your need to remain there is essential. If you wish to leave, a crisis could limit commercial options for departure. You should consider the first available option.”

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