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Australian bureaucrats are “still seeking to arrange” a call between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Appearing at a Senate estimates hearing on Monday afternoon, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade bureaucrats confirmed the department had initially reached out to their Israeli counterparts on October 8, the day after the first attacks on Israeli citizens by Hamas broke out, but were yet to confirm a call.

The prime minister has received criticism from the opposition on the grounds that he hasn’t yet spoken to Prime Minister Netanyahu, with opposition leader Peter Dutton calling for Mr Albanese to prioritise a trip to Tel Aviv.

“He’s (Anthony Albanese) put a request in it seems to Mr Netanyahu, and it’s telling that Mr Netanyahu hasn’t taken that call,” Mr Dutton said in an interview on 2GB earlier this month.

In questioning from Liberal senator Simon Birmingham, DFAT deputy secretary, Scott Dewar, said the prime ministers previously spoke on April 4 earlier this year.

Read related topics:Anthony Albanese

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By Rahul

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