Thousands gather for first pro-Palestinian rally since fighting resumed


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Thousands gather for first pro-Palestinian rally since fighting resumed
Thousands gather for first pro-Palestinian rally since fighting resumed

Hundreds of Palestinian supporters gathered in Hyde Park to name for a everlasting ceasefire in Gaza, earlier than chanting “free, free Palestine” via Sydney’s CBD.

The rally, which remained peaceable all through, was the primary held since heavy combating resumed in Gaza on December 1 after the ending of a seven-day pause in army operations, which started on November 24 and was prolonged twice.

Professional-Palestinian protesters take to Sydney streets within the first rally since combating resumed in Gaza.Credit score: Dean Sewell

The pause had allowed for the trade of dozens of hostages held in Gaza for a whole lot of Palestinian prisoners and facilitated the entry of humanitarian assist into the shattered coastal strip.

Israel has sworn to annihilate Hamas, which guidelines Gaza, in response to the October 7 rampage by the militant group, wherein Israel stated killed 1200 individuals and took 240 hostages. Israel retaliated with intense bombardment and a floor invasion.

Hamas reviews that greater than 15,000 Gazans have been confirmed killed since October 7, whereas the Israeli army says it has misplaced 75 troopers because the floor invasion.

After one hour of speeches, Sydney’s Palestinian supporters marched out of the park at 2pm, flanked by flags, placards and banners. Every road of the march was lined with dozens of bystanders and law enforcement officials and the protesters returned to the park by 3pm with out incident.

There was a heavy police presence on the pro-Palestinian rally.Credit score: Dean Sewell

Organisers estimated 10,000 individuals attended. NSW Police, who stated no arrests have been made, couldn’t verify this quantity.

Chants of “ceasefire now”, “free, free Gaza”, “disgrace, disgrace Israel” and “from the river to the ocean, Palestine will likely be free” echoed all through the group. The which means of the “from the river to the ocean” chant is contested: some argue it’s a name for the destruction of Israel, however that is denied by many protesters.

Earlier than the march, a number of Palestinian activists gave speeches to the passionate crowd to demand a everlasting ceasefire in Gaza and finish to Israeli occupation.

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To the response of drum beats and applause, organiser Assala Sayara advised attendees that Palestinians will proceed to withstand “so long as there’s air in our lungs”.

“It is a promise that our dedication to the Palestinian trigger isn’t a one-day or seven-day or seven-week dedication, it is a long-term dedication,” Sayara stated.

“Even after we die, our youngsters and our grandchildren will proceed to this motion”.

Sayara stated this was “not towards the Jewish individuals … that is about 75 years of occupation”, referring to the institution of the state of Israel in 1948.

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Palestinian-Australian speaker Reem Borrows advised the group that whereas Palestinians spoke “the language of affection,” as we speak was not about love.

“All we’re calling for is a right away and everlasting ceasefire in precept,” Borrows stated.

Politicians together with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese quickly turned the goal of their chants, as a lady screamed from a megaphone: “Albanese, your fingers are purple — greater than a thousand kids lifeless”.

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