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Pro-Palestine protesters scale roof of Australia’s Parliament House | Israel-Palestine conflict News

Pro-Palestine protesters scale roof of Australia’s Parliament House | Israel-Palestine conflict News

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The four protesters rolled out several banners that said, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ and ‘No peace on stolen land’.

Pro-Palestine protesters have climbed the roof of Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra and unfurled several banners, one of them reading, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.

The demonstration at the national parliament on Thursday followed recent divisions within Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor government, which suspended a Muslim Senator who crossed the floor to vote in favour of Australia recognising a Palestinian state.

Four people from the Renegade Activists group, dressed in dark clothing, stood on the roof of the building for about an hour, rolling out several large black and white banners, including one reading, “No peace on stolen land”.

One of the protesters gave a speech using a megaphone accusing the Israeli government of “war crimes” in Gaza with the support of the United States, and the Australian government of being complicit in the alleged abuses.

“We declare to the Australian government we will continue to unmask and resist the US imperial, hegemonic and capitalist interests you devote yourself to,” the protester yelled.

“Australia continues to enable and commit war crimes as lackeys to our ‘great and powerful’ friends.”

A handful of police and security advised people not to walk directly under the protest at the main entrance to the building, while more were seen on the roof attempting to remove the group.

The protesters packed up their banners before being led away by waiting police at about 11:30am local time (01:30 GMT).

“This is a serious breach of the Parliament’s security,” opposition Home Affairs spokesperson James Paterson said in a post on social media platform X.

“The building was modified at great expense to prevent incursions like this. An investigation is required.”

The latest war in Gaza began when Palestinian fighters from Hamas burst into southern Israel on October 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking about 250 others captive. Israel’s war on the besieged Palestinian territory has killed nearly 38,000 people, forcibly displaced most of the population multiple times and laid waste to the densely populated enclave.

South Africa has lodged a petition at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, while a United Nations inquiry last month found that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes in the early stages of the Gaza war.

The inquiry also said that Israel’s actions constituted crimes against humanity because of the immense civilian losses.

Since the war began, Australia has been the site of several pro-Palestine protests, including weekly demonstrations in major cities and a months-long occupation of university campuses.

The Labor Party indefinitely suspended a senator, Fatima Payman, on Monday after she voted in favour of a parliamentary motion backing Palestinian statehood. Payman said she had been “exiled” after supporting the motion – put forward by the Greens party – in defiance of government policy.

Australia does not currently recognise Palestinian statehood, although Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in May it could do so before a formal peace process between Israel and Palestinian authorities is complete.

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