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Efforts Continue To Help Australians Stuck In Gaza

The Australian government is continuing its efforts to help the 88 Australians who remain stuck in Gaza.

Foreign Affairs minister Penny Wong said while the government has been trying get the Australians out, it’s proven difficult with the Rafah border crossing still not open.

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“We have been engaging with the Israelis, with the Egyptians, with others to try and assist or ensure that the Rafah crossing [to] enable people to exit is opened,” Ms Wong said on ABC RN.

“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts … that recrossing has not yet been opened.”

The Rafah border is the single entry-exit point to the Gaza strip from Egypt.

Controlled by Egypt, the country is concerned of insecurity near Gaza’s border – the reasoning for restricting access.

However, being the only access point for Humanitarian support in and out of Gaza – which only started on October 21 – it’s said the border isn’t in a capacity to handle large-scale operations.

Therefore, making the movement of people out of the war-torn area even more difficult.

Meanwhile, Ms Wong has reiterated her message to Australians in Lebanon that they should return home as soon as possible.

The government’s advice is while commercial flights are still available out of Beirut, Australians should be returning home to avoid the potential increase of armed conflict.

“The reality is if we see a deterioration in security situation, if there is armed conflict, obviously government will always do its best, but the government may not be able to assist everyone who wishes to leave to leave,” Ms Wong said.

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