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Friday, May 24, 2024

Australians Killed in Israeli Airstrike in Lebanon: Acting Foreign Minister

An Israeli airstrike in Lebanon claimed the lives of two Australian citizens, including an alleged Hezbollah fighter, as stated by Australia’s acting foreign minister on Thursday. The airstrike occurred in Bint Jbel, southern Lebanon, resulting in the deaths of Ibrahim Bazzi and his brother Ali Bazzi. Ibrahim had recently arrived in Lebanon from Sydney to accompany his wife, Shorouq Hammoud, who had obtained an Australian visa. Unfortunately, Hammoud also lost her life in the attack.

Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas, draped the coffins of the victims in its flag. Australia is currently investigating Hezbollah’s claim regarding Ali Bazzi’s affiliation with the organization. Acting Foreign Minister Mark Dreyfus emphasized that Hezbollah is recognized as a terrorist organization under Australian law. Cooperation, support, or engagement in any form with such organizations is prohibited and considered an offense.

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Dreyfus mentioned that Australia had communicated with Israel about the airstrike but did not disclose specific details. In light of the ongoing conflict, Australia consistently advocates for the protection of civilian lives and expresses concerns about the potential escalation of the conflict. Dreyfus reiterated the government’s warning for Australians to avoid traveling to Lebanon, and those already in the country should leave while commercial air services are still available. The Australian embassy in Beirut stands ready to provide consular assistance to the Bazzi family if needed.

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