Thousands in Australia join pro-Palestinian march over Gaza

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Thousands took part in a pro-Palestinian march in Australia’s biggest city, Sydney, on Saturday, getting last-minute approval amid concerns after some protesters at an earlier rally had chanted anti-Jewish slogans.

Protesters worldwide on Friday demanded an end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza after nearly two weeks of intense air and artillery strikes that authorities in the narrow strip say have killed 4,100 people.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Friday to “fight until victory” in Gaza, signalling no pause in his military’s bombardment and expected invasion of the enclave over Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, which 1,400 in Israel and seized hostages.

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.

A rally 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.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the top group for Australia’s Jewish community, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

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