Pro-Palestinian Protestors on Jet Skis Block Israeli Ship

Activists were in the water chanting ‘free, free Palestine,’ while on the land, protestors held signs ‘block the boats.’
Pro-Palestinian Protestors on Jet Skis Block Israeli Ship
Protesters prepare Palestinian flags at the start of a rally in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 9, 2023. (David Gray/AFP via Getty Images)
Monica O’Shea

Pro-Palestinian protestors entered the water on jet skis on Nov. 11 to try to block an Israeli ship from reaching a port in Sydney.

Multiple activists were seen in the water on boats flying Palestinian flags, chanting “free free Palestine” in Port Botany.

Many others were holding signs reading “Block the boats” on the land and flying the green, white, red, and black Palestine flags.

Israeli shipping line ZIM, which was scheduled to arrive at the port on the day, was not able to dock in Port Botany.

Palestine Justice Movement Sydney and Unionists for Palestine were among the organisers of the demonstration on Saturday.

“The ZIP shipping line is a major supporter of Israel and the Israeli Defence Forces. ZIM ships regularly visit Port Botany, Palestine Justice Movement Sydney said in a post,” Palestine Justice Movement Sydney said on X.

“As working people, union members and community supporters, we stand against war, apartheid and colonisation wherever it occurs.”

The group said they resolved to be there again as soon as they know a ZIM ship has docked.

“We will fight to win our demands—no ZIM ships—in Port Botany while Israel is carrying out a genocide.”

The event went ahead despite New South Wales (NSW) Premier Chris Minns warning people that living in a free country did not mean you could “walk down to the port” to stop trade.

“I just want to make it clear that living in a free country doesn’t mean that you can walk down to the port and stop lawful trade between Australia and its trading partners around the world,” Mr. Minns said on 2GB ahead of the protest.

“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It’s a long-standing trading partner of Australia, it’s an ally of Australia. And it’s ridiculous to think or suggest that trade will be stopped because of the individual preferences of individual protestors.”

He noted he had not seen these people at the port when it came to trade with Cuba, Saudi Arabia or China.

Meanwhile, protestors in Caufield, Melbourne, were involved in a violent clash on Friday night following a fire destroying a local burger shop.

“It was a deliberate act of incitement designed to end in violence. And predictably it did,” Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said.

“These scenes have no place in our country and should be totally and utterly condemned. The Jewish community in Australia is rightly scared for their safety at the moment, and we all have a responsibility to call out vile antisemitism when it rears its ugly head—as it did last night in Caulfield.”

Free Palestine Melbourne apologised to the Jewish community following the clash, which triggered a synagogue evacuation.
“We apologise to the local Jewish community for the protest location that led to the evacuation of the synagogue, for any fear they may have felt, and for the cancellation of Shabbat,” the group said.

Revised Death Toll

Meanwhile, Israel has revised the death toll from the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas to about 1,200 after taking into account foreigners who died. This tally could still change when bodies are identified.

“Around 1,200 is the official number of victims of the Oct. 7 massacre,” Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Lior Haiat said.

Mr. Haiat has also rejected a recent resolution on the Gaza situation at UNESCO, calling it “one-sided” because it ignores the attack by Hamas. The resolution called for immediate action to protect Gaza’s cultural heritage amid the city’s “deteriorating situation.”

“Israel rejects with disgust the one-sided resolution taken by UNESCO today regarding the situation in Gaza. The resolution totally ignores the October 7 massacre by Hamas terrorists, who brutally murdered about 1,200 people in cold blood, and kidnapped 240 including babies, children, women, and the elderly,” Mr. Haiat said on X.

He said the resolution gives the “green light to Hamas terrorist organization which is worse than ISIS,” to “continue to murder and kidnap as well as continue to use the residents of the Gaza Strip as human shields.

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani on Nov. 12 about the conflict in the Middle East. The leaders talked about the “need to protect innocent civilians and ongoing efforts to increase the continuous flow of urgently needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza.”

“The President affirmed his vision for a future Palestinian state where Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side with equal measures of stability and dignity. He noted that Hamas has long been an impediment to that outcome,” the White House said.

On Nov. 6, President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding hostages held by Hamas, including children and American citizens.

The leaders discussed possible tactical pauses to enable citizens to safely depart from ongoing fighting and possible hostage releases.