Thousands in Australia join pro-Palestinian march over Gaza
Thousands took part in a pro-Palestinian march in Australia's biggest city, Sydney, on Saturday.
Protesters worldwide on Friday demanded an end to Israel's bombardment of Gaza after nearly two weeks of intense air and artillery strikes that have killed more than 4,100 people, most of them women and children.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Friday to "fight until victory" in Gaza, signalling no pause in his military's indiscriminate bombardment and expected invasion of the enclave following Hamas's 7 October surprise attack, which killed 1,400 in Israel.
In Sydney, Australia's biggest city, around 15,000 people attended Saturday's march, organiser Palestine Action Group said, with demonstrators chanting "Palestine will never die" and waving Palestine flags.
Police, including officers on horseback, patrolled the event that closed city streets, and a police helicopter circled overhead.
Police said no arrests had been made, and Palestine Action Group spokesperson Amal Naser said the march was peaceful.
Protester Barbara O'Neill described Palestinians as "my brothers and sisters", saying: "They have been suffering genocide publicly and in a very high-profile way."
Rally-goer James McGlone said people had a "right to know what's going on with the Palestinians… If they knew what the state of Israel has done and is continuing to do, they would support Palestine."
A protester who gave her name only as Doaa said: "I'm here because this is a humanitarian cause first and foremost. And I'm supporting, you know, humanity in every way."
The demonstration received last-minute approval amid concerns after some protesters at an earlier rally had chanted anti-Jewish slogans.
A protest outside the Sydney Opera House two days after the Hamas attack had ignited heated debate after a small group were filmed chanting: "Gas the Jews."
Pro-Palestine rallies were also scheduled on Saturday in state capitals Brisbane, Perth, and Hobart, Palestine Action Group said, after thousands attended largely well behaved rallies around Australia last weekend.
(Reuters and The New Arab Staff)