US consulate in Australia vandalised with 'Free Gaza', leading to PM rebuke

US consulate in Australia vandalised with 'Free Gaza', leading to PM rebuke
Two inverted red triangles were painted on the front of the US consulate building in Sydney in not the first attack on the US consulate.
2 min read
This file photo shows the US consulate building in Sydney which was vandalized by Palestine supporters [GETTY]

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urged activists on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian debate to "turn the heat down" after the US Consulate in Sydney was vandalised on Monday.

Surveillance video showed a person wearing a dark hoodie using a small sledgehammer to smash nine holes in the reinforced glass windows of the building in North Sydney after 3 am, a police statement said.

Two inverted red triangles, seen by some as a symbol of Palestinian resistance but by others as supporting Hamas, were also painted on the front of the building.

Albanese urged people to have "respectful political debate and discourse".

"People are traumatized by what is going on in the Middle East, particularly those with relatives in either Israel or in the Palestinian Occupied Territories," Albanese told reporters.

"And I just say, again, reiterate my call to turn the heat down and measures such as painting the US consulate do nothing to advance the cause of those who have committed what is, of course, a crime to damage property."

The consulate was closed on Monday because of a public holiday in New South Wales state but would reopen on Tuesday, a consulate statement said.

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns said an overwhelming majority of Australians did not approve of such vandalism.

"We can make our point in this country without resorting to violence or malicious behavior," Minns said.

The consulate was sprayed with graffiti in April, including the words "Freee (sic) Gaza." The US Consulate in Melbourne was vandalised by pro-Palestinian activists on May 31.

Australia is one of Israel's oldest ally's and has been a staunch backer of its war in Gaza which has killed over 36,000 Palestinians since October.

Alongside other Western nations like Canada and New Zealand, it has supported a "sustainable ceasefire in Gaza" but not called for an outright end to the fighting.