Palestine solidarity supporters call on Labor to boost funding to UNRWA

February 6, 2024
Protesters take the streets for the 17th consecutive week in support of Palestine, demanding a ceasefire. Photo: Peter Boyle

Thousands marched through the CBD of Gadigal/Sydney on February 4, showing solidarity with the people of Gaza as Israel continues its genocidal siege and indiscriminate slaughter of Palestinians and destroys homes, hospitals and schools.

Peter Boyle reports that before the march left its rallying point in Hyde Park, NSW Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi called on the Anthony Albanese Labor government to reverse its suspension of funding to the United Nations Relief Agency for Palestinians in the Near East (UNRWA).

Faruqi called for Australia to sending more funds to UNRWA and said Labor must sanction apartheid Israel. 

Veteran Palestinian solidarity activist Raul Bassi told Green Left: “We need more and more people in the streets supporting Palestine and telling the government it is wrong and it has to give more money to the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza.”

This was the 17th mass weekend protest in succession to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and an end to Israel’s occupation and blockade of Gaza.

Another march is planned for February 11 and it will focus on demanding that the UNRWA funding is restored.


Palestine rally on February 4 in Gadigal/Sydney. Photo: Peter Boyle

Thousands marched in Naarm/Melbourne from the State Library in the swelling heat on the same day.

Jacob Andrewartha reports that Uncle Robbie Thorpe opened the rally with an acknowledgement of country and he invited everyone to join the Camp Sovereignty occupation at Kings Domain.


Rally in Naarm/Melbourne on February 4. Photo: Jordan AK

Greens leader Adam Bandt, one of the speakers, said: “The implications of the International Court of Justice are clear: the invasion of Gaza must stop.”

The Victorian Police arrested someone at the end of the protest for sticking a pro-Palestine sticker in a public place.

Meanwhile, Alex Salmon reports that pro-Palestine activists successfully disrupted the loading and unloading of cargo from an Israeli-owned cargo vessel for three hours on February 3, outside the DP World facility in Walyalup/Fremantle.

Unionists for Palestine, supported by Friends of Palestine WA and Students for Palestine, picketed Israeli ZIM container ship MSC Alabama outside the DP World facility.


Picket stops the loading of an Israeli ZIM container ship. Photo: Alex Salmon

It was the third picket of ZIM shipping since December. ZIM is a target because of its ongoing support for Israel’s genocidal war on Palestine.

Friends of Palestine WA’s next rally, From the River to the Sea — Freo Stands with Palestine, is on February 10 at 4pm at Walyalup Koort (next to Fremantle Town Hall).

The Blue Mountains for Palestine organised another protest in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains on February 3.


Blue Mountains for Palestine. Photo: Supplied

Palestinian Khaled Ghannam, a member of Socialist Alliance, called for an urgent ceasefire and for Australia to urgently restore its finding to UNRWA to assist Gazans under siege.

The crowd chanted “Free, Free Palestine”, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, “In our thousands, in our millions, We are all Palestinians”.

[Check Green Left’s calendar for the next actions to support Palestine.]

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