Pro-Palestinian protesters climb onto roof of Australian Parliament House | Israel-Palestinian conflict news

The four protesters unfurled several banners reading, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “No peace in stolen land.”

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

Thursday’s demonstration in Parliament 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 members of a group of black-clad anti-government activists stood on the roof of the building for about an hour, unfurling several large black-and-white banners, including one that read, “No peace on stolen land.”

One protester spoke using a megaphone, accusing the Israeli government of committing “war crimes” in Gaza with the backing of the US, and the Australian government of being complicit in those abuses.

“We declare to the Australian government that we will continue to expose and resist the US imperialist, hegemonic and capitalist interests to which you are committed,” protesters chanted.

“Australia continues to enable and carry out war crimes as pawns of our ‘great and powerful’ friends.”

Several police officers and security guards warned people not to walk directly underneath the protests at the building’s main entrance, while many were seen on the roof trying to clear protesters.

Protesters removed the banners at around 11:30am local time (1:30am GMT) before being escorted away by waiting police.

“This is a serious breach of parliamentary security,” Opposition Home Office spokesman James Paterson said in a post on social media platform X.

“The building has been renovated at great expense to prevent such break-ins. An investigation is required.”

The latest war in Gaza began on October 7 when Palestinian fighters from Hamas entered southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people and taking about 250 prisoners. Israel’s war on the besieged Palestinian territory has left some 38,000 people dead, forced the majority of its residents to flee multiple times and left the densely populated enclave in ruins.

South Africa has filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) alleging that Israel committed genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, while a UN investigation last month found that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes in the early stages of the Gaza war.

The investigation also said Israel’s actions amounted to crimes against humanity due to the heavy civilian casualties.

There have been numerous pro-Palestinian protests in Australia since the war began, including weekly demonstrations in major cities and months-long occupations of university campuses.

The Labour Party on Monday indefinitely suspended Senator Fatima Peyman for her vote in favour of a parliamentary motion supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state. Peyman said she had been “expelled” for supporting a motion put forward by the Green Party that went against government policy.

Australia does not currently recognise the state of Palestine, but Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in May that it might do so before the formal peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is completed.

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