Scott Morrison arrives in Israel with Boris Johnson ‘to show support’

Key Points
  • Former prime minister Scott Morrison has arrived in Israel to visit communities and meet Israeli troops.
  • He said it’s “an opportunity to understand first hand what is occurring on the ground”.
  • A dozen more Australians are due to arrive back home after weeks trapped in war-torn Gaza.
Former prime minister Scott Morrison has arrived in Israel alongside former British prime minister Boris Johnson, with the two former leaders expected to visit Israeli communities and troops.
Morrison said their visit was a “demonstration of solidarity with the people and state of Israel”.

“It is an opportunity to understand first hand what is occurring on the ground, honour those who have been lost, show support to those who have suffered and are now engaged in this terrible conflict and discuss how to move forward,” he said.

Morrison and Johnson were being hosted by Danny Danon, Israel’s former ambassador to the UN, who tweeted that he had met his “friends” at Israel’s busiest airport.
“Early this morning, at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, I received my friends Boris Johnson, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Scott Morrison, the former Prime Minister of Australia – both true friends of Israel,” Danon said on X.

“During the day we will visit Israel’s Southern communities and will meet with our heroic IDF soldiers. On behalf of all the people of Israel, we thank you for your steadfast support.”

Morrison was a strong supporter of Israel in office, which attracted a degree of controversy. As prime minister in 2018, he said his government would formally recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and floated .

In October 2022, the Albanese government reversed the recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reaffirming that Jerusalem’s status should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people, and confirming the embassy would remain in Tel Aviv.

More Australians arrive home from Gaza

Morrison’s visit comes as a dozen more Australians were due to arrive back home after weeks trapped in war-torn Gaza.
A family of four landed in Adelaide and a family of three arrived in Melbourne on Saturday, while another 12 passengers will land in Sydney on a commercial flight on Sunday night.

The 19 people were among 25 who fled into Egypt from Gaza last week after being allowed through the Rafah crossing.

As per the agreement made by Egypt, Israel and Hamas, a number of foreign nationals and individuals with critical injuries will be permitted to evacuate the Gaza Strip. Source: AAP / EPA

The federal government is still helping 67 people, including Australian citizens, permanent residents and family members, who remain in Gaza.

Officials are continuing to call for the remaining Australians and their family members to be allowed to cross the border to safety.
“We continue to engage closely with partners in the region to ensure the remaining Australians in Gaza who wish to leave are able to do so as soon as possible,” a foreign affairs and trade department spokesperson said.

“Departures depend on a range of factors and the situation in Gaza remains highly challenging and can change rapidly.”

Australia is calling for a pause on airstrikes to get humanitarian support to people in Gaza. Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Tim Watts said there had not been any further crossings for Australians at the border point.
“We are pressing very hard because we know how dire the situation is in Gaza,” he told Sky News on Sunday.
“It really is a very serious humanitarian situation there … that’s also why we’ve been calling for a humanitarian pause to enable that desperately needed humanitarian support to get to the people that need it, safely.”

Hundreds of international citizens were able to cross into Egypt under a deal brokered between the US, Egypt, Israel and Qatar since last week.

Meanwhile, pro-Palestine rallies are expected in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane on Sunday.
Victoria Police confirmed more than 20,000 people participated in the Melbourne march, which kicked off outside the State Library at midday.
The Brisbane rally is due to begin at 6pm in Queens Gardens in the CBD, while the Perth protest will take place from 12:.0pm in Forrest Place.
Israel has bombarded Gaza since Hamas’ 7 October attack in which more than 1,400 people were killed, according to the Israeli government, and over 200 hostages taken. More than 9,488 people have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, according to the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Hamas is a Palestinian military and political group, which has gained power in the Gaza Strip since winning legislative elections there in 2006. Its stated aim is to establish a Palestinian state, while refusing to recognise Israel’s right to exist.

Hamas, in its entirety, is designated as a terrorist organisation by countries including Australia, Canada, the UK and the US. New Zealand and Paraguay list only its military wing as a terrorist group. In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly voted against a resolution condemning Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist organisation.

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