Australia grants temporary visas to 800 Palestinians and over 1,700 Israelis

Australia grants temporary visas to 800 Palestinians and over 1,700 Israelis
The Australian Foreign Minster says her country granted temporary visas to 800 Palestinians and more than 1700 Israelis since the beginning of the war on Gaza
2 min read
22 November, 2023
Penny Wong said there was high demand for Australian visas among Palestinians [Getty]

Australia says it has granted temporary visas for more than 800 Palestinians since the beginning of Israel’s war on Gaza, Foreign Minster Penny Wong announced on Monday.

Wong addressed the media shortly after the four-day ceasefire announcement, saying that while hundreds of Palestinians have been granted Australian visas, an even higher number of Israeli citizens obtained visas within the same timeframe. 

"Over the same period, between October 7 and a couple of days ago, we had 1793 visas issued to Israeli citizens," she said.

The Foreign Minister highlighted the high demand for Australian visas in the region and said that all recipients had undergone rigorous security checks. 

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For the past twenty years, Australia has enforced one of the most stringent policies globally regarding asylum seekers, adopting what it calls a "zero tolerance" policy towards those arriving offshore, especially via boats.

"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." The Australian foreign minister also highlighted the evacuation of a total of 127 citizens, permanent residents and their families who are receiving consular support in Cairo.

Israel's ongoing bombardment and ground offensive in the besieged Gaza Strip has already killed over 14,000 people, more than 5,800 of them children, with at least 33,000 injured and a million displaced.

Earlier in the offensive, Israeli forces ordered Palestinians living in northern Gaza to flee south, stoking fears of ethnic cleansing.

Hundreds of thousands of Gazans undertook the journey south, however the Israeli army continued to carry out strikes on southern towns and cities such as Khan Yunis.

Israeli leaders have attempted to pressure Egypt to accept Gazans as refugees, further fuelling speculation about ethnic cleansing and forced displacement.