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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
Revised Death TollMeanwhile, 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.”
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.
“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.