A federal MP was spotted in the crowd of a pro—Israel rally as hundreds of Pro-Palestinian protesters flooded the streets of capital cities across the country.
Australians in Canberra, Brisbane and Perth gathered in support of the heavily-bombarded Palestinians on Friday night as Israel continues to send warplanes into Gaza in retaliation for attacks from Hamas militants.
At the same time, thousands gathered at Caulfield Park in Melbourne to show their support for the Jewish community at “United with Israel” rally.
Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan, opposition leader John Pesutto and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus all addressed the crowd at the rally while senator Bridget Mckenzie also made a public appearance.
Meanwhile, independent federal MP Monique Ryan decided to make less of a fuss about her attendance at the rally, quietly blending into the crowd to show her support for the Jewish community.
Pro-Palestine rally attendees in the nation’s capital were seen peacefully waving flags, as a small group of counter-protestors stood nearby holding signs.
Regarded as Israel’s 9/11, Hamas launched its deadliest attack on the country on Saturday, firing 3500 rockets into the contested territory.
Israel has warned 1.1 million civilians in north Gaza that they have 24 hours to relocate to the south, with its military chief declaring “now is the time for war”.
Protesters at the Canberra rally called on the Australian government to do more to support Palestinians under siege.
One leader wanted the government to “call out Israel’s breaches of international laws, including the fourth Geneva convention and UN resolutions”.
The rallies in Canberra and Brisbane come on the same day that NSW Premier Chris Minns has urged residents of his state not to attend protests planned for this weekend in Sydney.
“Obviously, I’m concerned about the assembly on Sunday,” Mr Minns told the media on Friday.
NSW Police revealed they may use extraordinary powers to search those planning to attend the pro-Palestine protests after a previous rally organised by the same group featured anti-Semitic chants.
“We intend to search people that we believe are likely to protest or have shown an interest in protesting, based on the fact that weapons and flares, the experiences of Monday night,” acting commissioner David Hudson said.
Mr Minns has repeatedly condemned the actions of protesters on Monday night, despite the organisers claiming that they were a “tiny fringe” of “vile anti-Semitic attendees” who were not connected to the rally.
“Now, I think it is fair to note that whether that protest was hijacked or there was malevolent intent from the very beginning, it doesn’t matter,” he said.
“The organisers of the protest have proven to the NSW police, the government, people of NSW that they can’t manage a peaceful protest.”
Mr Minns had a grim warning for Sydneysiders if the scenes on Monday were repeated on the weekend.
“That would be ruinous for Sydney‘s sense of cohesion, our multicultural, multi-faith community, we couldn’t have those scenes again and police have got every right to protect and ensure that those scenes aren’t repeated over the weekend,” he said.
https://thewest.com.au/news/huge-crowds-attend-pro-palestinian-rallies-in-canberra-brisbane-and-perth-c-12196424 MP Monique Ryan spotted at Israel rally as hundreds attend pro-Palestinian rallies across country