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Australia ‘Palestine will be free': Thousands turn out in Sydney to protest against Israeli strikes

15:52  15 may  2021
15:52  15 may  2021 Source:   smh.com.au

Bernie Sanders, Progressives Raise Alarms About 'Israeli Extremists' Amid Violence Against Palestinians

  Bernie Sanders, Progressives Raise Alarms About 'Israeli Extremists' Amid Violence Against Palestinians "The United States must speak out strongly against the violence," Sanders tweeted on Saturday.Israeli police said that more than 200 Palestinians and 17 police officers were injured in clashes on Friday, after authorities cracked down while Palestinians worshippers gathered for prayers at Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem during Ramadan, the holiest month of the year for Muslims, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. Many of the worshippers stayed on after prayers to protest in support of Palestinians currently facing evictions at the hands of Israeli settlers.


Protesters wave Palestinian flags during a demonstration against Israel at the Town Hall in Sydney. © Getty Protesters wave Palestinian flags during a demonstration against Israel at the Town Hall in Sydney.

Thousands of Palestine supporters have rallied in Sydney to condemn Israel and the escalating military offensive in the Gaza Strip, as deadly hostilities in the territory threaten to escalate into an all-out war.

A rally at Sydney's Town Hall drew a large crowd objecting to the decades-long Israeli occupation of historical Palestinian territories and the week of escalating airstrikes targeting Hamas, the Islamist militant group in control of Gaza.

Israeli airstrikes in recent days have killed 126 Palestinians, including 31 children, and wounded more than 930 in densely populated Gaza, according to local officials. Hamas rockets fired into southern Israel have killed at least eight Israelis.

Israel declares emergency in city as riots erupt

  Israel declares emergency in city as riots erupt Riots sweep Lod as unrest grows after days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants.Cars were set alight and 12 people were reported injured in clashes Lod's mayor likened to a civil war.

Bearing Palestinian flags and the symbolic chequered keffiyeh scarf, attendees at the rally in the Sydney CBD gathered to mark what Arabs call the Nakba - the "catastrophe" associated with the creation of Israel and the mass exodus of Palestinians in 1948.

Speaking at the Sydney event, Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi condemned the escalating situation in Gaza.

"What is happening in Palestine now is not an isolated incident. It is part of a broader pattern of destroying the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians," she said.

Attendees repeated popular Arabic and English chants in support of the Palestinian cause, calling for a "free Palestine" and an end to the occupation.

"From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," attendees chanted.

Violence, destruction and death in Israel play right into Netanyahu’s hands

  Violence, destruction and death in Israel play right into Netanyahu’s hands Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu — on trial over charges of corruption — will once again use the conflict to rally people against what he calls 'a vile enemy'Israel hasn’t had a stable government for years after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu successfully dragged his country through four elections without a clear result. Despite standing trial on corruption charges, his Likud Party still received the highest number of seats in the March election — but not enough to lead a majority in the Knesset.

The phrase, popular with Palestinian nationalists, refers to the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, taking in modern Israel and the Palestinian territories. Zionists condemn the phrase as an expression of support for eliminating the state of Israel.

There was a heavy police presence at the Sydney rally and some tense exchanges between officers and protesters.

Protesters attend a demonstration against Israel in Sydney. © Getty Protesters attend a demonstration against Israel in Sydney.

Tensions in Israel and Palestine escalated during the previous week following disputes over holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem and the eviction of Arab families in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood in East Jerusalem.

Hamas threatened violence if settlers did not withdraw from the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah. On Monday evening, the militant group fired more than 200 rockets towards Jerusalem and southern Israel and some 2000 rockets overall in the days since.

Israel’s unraveling

  Israel’s unraveling The wave of riots sweeping Israeli cities reflects the damage done by a decade of divisive right-wing government.On Wednesday night, Bat Yam erupted in violence. A mob of Jewish extremists surrounded a man they presumed was an Arab and pummeled him mercilessly. Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, aired live footage of the unnamed man being beaten with a flagpole flying the Israeli flag.

Israel has responded with a barrage of airstrikes and tank fire, which it says is an attempt to inflict as much damage as possible on Hamas infrastructure in Gaza to hamper the group's capabilities.

The hostilities have stoked fears of another Palestinian intifada, or uprising, and a fully-fledged war between Israel and Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that Hamas will "pay a very heavy price" for its rocket attacks as Israel massed troops at the border with Gaza. US President Joe Biden has expressed support for Israel while saying he hopes to bring the violence under control.

The Australian government has repeated its support for a two-state solution and called for Israel and Hamas to de-escalate the conflict.

"Israel unquestionably has the right to defend itself and its people. Unquestionably," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week.

"And, equally, Palestinians need to be able to live safely."

As the Gaza turmoil energises the commemoration of Nakba day, held annually on May 15, tensions have spread to the West Bank where an estimated 5000 Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops during demonstrations.

With AP

The fighting in Gaza is over. The humanitarian crisis isn’t. .
Aid is beginning to flow, but the damage has been done.Earlier this week, Tibi hadn’t been sure if she would see the next morning, or the morning after that, so heavy was the bombardment from Israeli airstrikes. This week, Tibi’s daughter, pregnant for the first time, gave birth in the hospital, Tibi’s granddaughter, Naya, entering the world to the sound of shelling for hours and hours.

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