An Australian mother stuck in war-torn Israel with her family has pleaded to be flown back to Australia.

Nicole Brodie, who has lived in Israel for 13 years, said she and her three children would have to make their own way home after being flown to London on a repatriated flight on Friday.

She said she was struggling to confirm details of the flights, including whether she would need visas and how she would pay for papers required to enter the UK.

Her nine-year-old daughter’s passport has expired and her five-year-old twins don’t hold Australian passports

“There are basically no answers. We are going to London, apparently. And then I guess we’re staying there and everyone has to make their own way home. That is how it feels,” Ms Brodie told Today.

“They said if you are going to go to Australia, that will be at your expense. No problem, I don’t mind paying for that, but it is more expensive and to fly from London home, then from here to home, so it has given us a bit of a sense, a false sense of helping us.”

An estimated 10,000 Australian residents and tourists were believed to be in Israel when Islamist militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Saturday night. At least 1200 people have died and more than 5000 have been injured since the violence began, according to the Israeli military.

Qantas announced it would be offering at least two repatriation flights for Australians leaving from Israel or Tel Aviv airport after a request from the federal government.

Ms Brodie said a lot of Australian citizens were choosing to stay in the country.

“There are lots of Australians here. We are all family and a lot of people are staying and supporting and helping. For me, I felt the right decision was to take my kids. My husband will be here and his family is in the army,” she said.

“It is traumatising and we are together as a country, a beautiful country, and we will get through it, but it is something that is just the most horrible thing. It is a nightmare beyond what anyone could ever imagine.”

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil has said it was possible there would be a large demand for flights sent to help rescue Australians out of Israel. The flights will begin departing on Friday.

“This is going to be a continuous process of the Australian government working with people in Israel who want to leave,” Ms O’Neil told ABC on Thursday.

“As I said, this is going to continue for some time. We don’t know exactly what’s gonna happen in the coming weeks and months and it’s possible there will be an initial rush of people out of Israel but then later others will want to leave.”

Ms O’Neil was asked if a Sydney rally planned for Sunday in support of Palestine should go ahead despite an application being rejected by NSW Police.

This came after the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas sparked emotional rallies nationwide, with both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protests and vigils planned over the coming days.

“I would just say that I would ask people not to attend these rallies and just really consider how what you say and do at a time like this affects people who are really in pain and seriously hurting,” Ms O’Neil said.

“This is not about politics, it’s not about your views on Palestine and Israel. What has happened here is a terrorist organisation has indiscriminately attacked and killed innocent men, women and children.

“There’s no ifs or buts about this. We should be able to, as one country, outwardly and clearly condemn an act of violence.”


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By Rahul

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