ACT News

200 at pro-Palestinian rally at Israeli Embassy

ABOUT 200 pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Canberra on Saturday.

Shouting ''Free Free Palestine'' and waving Palestinian flags and banners reading ''Truce Broken'', ''35 Palestinian children = 1 Israeli soldier'' the vocal group heard speeches from retired Canberra Bishop Pat Power and Unions ACT secretary Kim Sattler.

Supporters for Palestine rights march out the front of the Embassy of Israel in Yarralumla.
Supporters for Palestine rights march out the front of the Embassy of Israel in Yarralumla. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Bishop Power said his views about the conflict had changed as he learned more about it.

''It disappoints me how the Australian media and politicians have been hoodwinked,'' he said.

Renee Jan from Gilmore with "stop bombing Gaza" written in Arabic on her forehead during a Rally for Palestine rights.
Renee Jan from Gilmore with "stop bombing Gaza" written in Arabic on her forehead during a Rally for Palestine rights. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

''The Israelis are not the victims, they are the oppressors.''

Ms Sattler said that she last visited Gaza in 2010.

''I am a woman of Jewish background … my grandmother was a Levi, I have right of return, which I would never use. But like many other progressive Jewish voices in Australia I don't support Zionism,'' Ms Sattler said.

She said the group had a message for the Israeli Ambassador to Australia, Yuval Rotem.

''If [Israel is] serious about peace, stop killing people. If you want diplomacy to work you've got to stop the relentless attack on people on the North Bank and in Gaza. While the ceasefire was in place they shot and killed someone yesterday.''

In Sydney pro-Palestinian protesters forced traffic to a standstill as hundreds marched from Sydney Town Hall to the US consulate in Martin Place.

Zaen Alsweity from Conder during a Rally for Palestine rights in front of the Embassy of Israel  in Yarralumla.
Zaen Alsweity from Conder during a Rally for Palestine rights in front of the Embassy of Israel in Yarralumla. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

The protests follow days of conflict between Israel and Palestinians in which six Israelis and more than 160 Palestinians were killed.