Pro Palestine protesters scale roof of Australia’s Parliament

CANBERRA: Pro Palestine protesters climbed the roof of Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday and unfurled banners, one saying Palestine will be free, and accused Israel of war crimes, TV footage showed.

Footage showed four people dressed in dark clothes on the roof of the building, unfurling black banners including one reading “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a common refrain of Pro Palestine protesters.

One of the protesters began a speech using a megaphone accusing the Israeli government of war crimes, an accusation it rejects.

We will not forget, we will not forgive and we will continue to resist,” the protester said.

A handful of police and security advised people not to walk directly under the protest at the main entrance to the building, but there appeared to be no immediate attempt to remove the protesters, a Reuters witness said.

“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 war in Gaza began when Hamas gunmen burst into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killed 1,200 people and took around 250 hostages back into Gaza, Israel says.

The offensive launched by Israel in retaliation has killed nearly 38,000 people, according to the Gaza health ministry, and has left the heavily built-up coastal enclave in ruins.

Both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes in the early stages of the Gaza war, a UN inquiry found last month, saying that Israel’s actions also constituted crimes against humanity because of the immense civilian losses

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