• PM Malcolm Turnbull will look to beef up Australia's defence and security ties with Israel. (AAP)
Malcolm Turnbull is due to touch down in Israel within hours for meetings with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and commemorations for the Battle of Beersheba.
Source:
AAP
30 Oct - 5:48 AM 

Malcolm Turnbull will look to beef up Australia's defence and security ties with Israel during his 48-hour visit to the country.

Mr Turnbull is scheduled to arrive on Monday afternoon (Monday night AEDT), two days later than originally planned following the fall-out from the High Court's ruling on the "citizenship seven".

It is the first visit to Israel by an Australian prime minister since John Howard in 2000.

Mr Turnbull will receive a ceremonial welcome before a one-on-one with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli leader and his wife Sara will then host Mr Turnbull and wife Lucy at a private dinner at their residence.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Netanyahu will also hold a formal bilateral meeting, with defence and national security the focus.

The pair is expected to announce a memorandum of understanding between the Australian and Israeli defence departments.

It will allow for more co-operation between the two nations' defence industries, including potential export opportunities.

Israel's defence industry exports are worth about $US7 billion a year, with the US, India, South Korea and Australia key destinations.

The leaders are also set to announce a new annual dialogue between senior defence officials.

The regular talks are aimed at helping give Australia greater insights into developments in the Middle East, while also offering its perspective on regional security challenges.

"As a result of this visit we aim to upgrade the co-operation on defence, national security and the protection of crowded places," Mr Turnbull said.

"Our nations can learn a great deal from each other in order to strengthen security and keep our citizens safe."

The two leaders, along with cabinet ministers Josh Frydenberg and Dan Tehan, Labor leader Bill Shorten and MPs Mark Dreyfus and Warren Snowden, will join about 2000 others on Tuesday for a series of commemorative events marking the centenary of the battle of Beersheba.

Mr Turnbull will make a speech before the day culminates in a re-enactment of the charge of the Australian light horse brigade.

Described as one of the last great calvary charges in history, the Australian Light Horse Brigade captured the city of Beersheba on October 31, 1917. Thirty-one Australians died in the conflict.

The prime minister is also scheduled to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum before flying out on Wednesday but it's unclear whether he will meet any Palestinian leaders because of the shortened schedule.

"The prime minister is still coming to Israel and I think that's a sign of his commitment to commemorate this amazing story of Beersheba and the battle that took place 100 years ago ... and also to the bilateral relationship," Mr Frydenberg said.

Mr Shorten wouldn't be drawn on the implications of Mr Turnbull's delayed trip, other than to blame it on the "turmoil" he had created himself.

"I'm not here to forensically debate Australian politics," he told reporters.

Mr Turnbull will also visit Sri Lanka on his way back from Israel, meeting with the country's prime minister and president to mark the 70th anniversary of Australia's bilateral relationship with the country.

"I look forward to continuing our discussions on strengthening our economic links, defence engagement, and our work together to combat trans-national crime, particularly people smuggling."