« Hundreds of Pro-Palestinian protesters descended on the Sydney Opera House on Monday to rally against the decision to project the colours of the Israeli flag on the iconic building’s sails.
Footage shows large crowds of demonstrators waving Palestinian flags and lighting flares outside the Opera House, which was guarded by dozens of police officers.
The decision to light the building in a show of solidarity with the Jewish community was announced by New South Wales Premier Chris Minns on Sunday, amid tensions following the deadly Hamas attacks on Israel.
« I think it’s in extremely poor taste. We did not fly the flag of Russia, we supported the Ukrainians. Why are we not supporting the victims of invasion and occupation in this particular case?” a demonstrator said.
“It’s extremely hypocritical and we need to stop supporting an apartheid regime, that has many, many war crimes to its record and actually call it out, stand up to it, and support the people who are the real victims, » she continued.
“I think the government should be ashamed. The only people they need to be backing here are Palestinians, because we’ve gone through hell, we’ve been occupied, colonized, stolen from, everything,” added a second pro-Palestinian protester.
The demonstration outside the Sydney Opera House comes after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, October 7, firing thousands of rockets as militants broke through into Israeli territory as part of what the group described as ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’.
Israel responded with airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and issued a formal declaration of war on Hamas, warning residents in Gaza to leave their homes.
Hamas said the operation was due to the long-running Israeli blockade, raids on West Bank cities and other attacks, while Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed ‘mighty vengeance’ on the group.
At the time of publication, over 1,100 have been reported dead across both sides in the most deadly escalation of the ongoing conflict in decades. »