Two Australian citizens including an alleged Hezbollah fighter were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Lebanon, Australia’s acting foreign minister said on Thursday.
Ibrahim Bazzi and his brother Ali Bazzi were killed in the airstrike on Tuesday in the town of Bint Jbel in southern Lebanon, Acting Foreign Minister Mark Dreyfus said.
Ibrahim Bazzi had arrived in Lebanon recently from Sydney to accompany his Lebanese wife Shorouq Hammoud to Australia, news media reported. Hammoud, who had recently received an Australian visa, was also killed in the attack.
Dreyfus said Australia was investigating Hezbollah’s claim that Ali Bazzi was one of its fighters.
“Hezbollah is a listed terrorist organization under Australian law. It’s an offense for any Australian to cooperate with, to support, let alone to fight with a listed terrorist organization like Hezbollah,” Dreyfus told reporters.
Dreyfus said his government had communicated with Israel about the airstrike but declined to disclose what was said.
“In the context of the current conflict, Australia has consistently called for civilian lives to be protected and we have consistently raised our concerns about the risk of this conflict spreading,” Dreyfus said.
Dreyfus repeated a government warning for Australians not to travel to Lebanon. Australians already in the country should leave while commercial air services are still available.