SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – A group of student demonstrators in Melbourne protesting Israel’s military operation in Gaza was arrested after burning Australian and Israeli flags.
About 10 students in Wednesday’s protest by Students for Palestine are facing charges of criminal damage and theft of the Australian flag, according to local media reports. Police intervened as the protesters gathered inside the foyer of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.
Earlier, some demonstrators reportedly chained themselves inside the Passport Office before the protest moved into the foyer.
“The storming of a government office, theft of goods, and burning of flags is a disgusting and unacceptable act,” said Matthew Lesh, the political affairs director for the Australasian Union of Jewish Students. “These types of acts serve to show how extremist and disconnected the Socialist Alternative is from civilized political debate or peaceful solutions.”