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Australian dead in Israel as citizens call for help

Galit Carbone has officially been named as the first Australian killed in the attack against Israel, with the foreign minister offering the family condolences.

Grandmother Galit Carbone is the first Australian confirmed dead after the Islamic group Hamas attacked Israel, killing hundreds of civilians and taking others hostage. 

The 66-year-old was executed by militants at her home in the Be'eri kibbutz, kilometres from the Gaza Strip.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong confirmed the death in a statement on Wednesday, saying the government was offering consular assistance to her family in Israel and Australia.

"On behalf of the government, I wish to convey my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Ms Carbone," Senator Wong said.

"Australia unequivocally condemns the attacks on Israel by Hamas.

"There is no excuse for the deliberate killing of innocent civilians.

"Australia continues to urge the protection of civilian lives at all times."

Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin said the confirmation "brings us new pain and sorrow".

Meanwhile, Australians in Israel have expressed frustration at the government for not offering a safe pathway home. 

Canada's foreign minister has announced the nation's armed forces would begin evacuating citizens from Tel Aviv in the coming days. 

Asked about repatriation flights, Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil said the government was looking at all options. 

Senator Wong is leading efforts by the government to help the estimated 10,000 Australian residents in Israel, as well as tourists.

She directed her department to start contingency planning for repatriation flights on Monday. 

Transport Minister Catherine King has spoken to the Virgin and Qantas CEOs to ask them to work with the foreign affairs department on the matter.

With developments in Israel and Gaza, the Australian Government is assessing all options for Australians wanting to leave.

We understand the difficulties with limited commercial options. If you want to leave and do have a viable option, we encourage you to pursue that.

— Senator Penny Wong (@SenatorWong) October 10, 2023

Qantas said it had spoken with the department and offered support.

The airline does not operate any regular scheduled flights to Israel so any repatriation effort would be outside of its usual network.

Australian Keanu Vincente said he felt stranded in Israel while other nations were repatriating their citizens.

"It would feel a lot safer ... to have the Australian government doing those flights for all of the Australians here," he told ABC TV.

Asher Lilley said the situation was terrifying. 

She and her sister have a commercial flight booked but are worried about cancellations. 

"Every single day more and more flights are getting cancelled and all we can do is just hope that we are actually going to be able to get out," she told Nine's Today program from Tel Aviv.

She said communication from the Australian embassy "has been shocking". 

"What's the point of having an embassy if they're not doing their job," she said.

"We need to do better - it's so scary being stuck in a war zone.

"We just want to get out - we just want to get home."

Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley said the government was not doing enough to make people feel safe in Australia. 

"(Ms O'Neil) is not stepping up and reassuring the Jewish community of their safety, of implications with domestic terrorism which, of course, always relate to an international act of war," she told Sky News.

A woman weeps during a vigil for victims of the attack at Caulfield Shule in Melbourne on Monday.

Ms O'Neil said Australia and the government were standing with the Jewish community.

Defence Minister Richard Marles said the government was looking closely at additional security measures, "particularly around Jewish schools".

More than a thousand Israelis are dead and scores more, including some foreigners, have been captured and taken to Gaza as hostages.

News Corp has reported mother of two Adi Kaplon, the daughter-in-law of an Australian man, is being held by Hamas. 

The government has not confirmed if any citizens are being held hostage.

Israel's retaliatory air strikes are believed to have killed at least 830 people in Gaza.


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