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Police Slam “Hostile and Disgusting” Behavior at Melbourne Anti-Israel Rally

Color me unsurprised:

Police have slammed “hostile and disgusting” behaviour at a pro-Palestine rally in Melbourne after objects were allegedly thrown at them and one officer spat on.

About 3000 people marched on the city’s CBD for the Free Palestine rally on Sunday, the 35th consecutive demonstration since the war in Gaza began in October.

Victoria Police told Nine officers were attempting to obtain the identity of a person who lit what appeared to be a flare when they were confronted by about 200 people.

“The group was extremely hostile and turned violent, throwing bottles and signs at police,” Victoria Police said, adding that pepper spray was subsequently deployed.

I could not find footage of the objects being thrown at police, or the police officer being spat on, but I absolutely believe them.

For a start, when you have violent thug Mohammad Sharab, who is currently facing kidnap and torture charges, leading chants and speaking of “escalating”, you can bet at least some of the protesters were violent. And I am sure it is no coincidence that Sharab was one of those seemingly pepper-sprayed, as the below video shows:

By the way, note the caption to this Instagram post:

For EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE that was at the protest you better file in a complaint and get these ebn al yahoudi to account

“Ebn el yahoudi” means “the son of a Jew.” Because anti-Zionists-not-antisemites.

Here is a photo, from the rally, of police seemingly backed in to a corner, with one spraying at the crowd. You can see at least one protester holding some kind of stick and others looking angry. This is certainly not proof to support police claims, but it is a possible further indication of the aggression of some elements of the crowd.

Naturally, Nasser Mashni has invoked his usual plausible deniability approach:

Those claims were disputed by Australia Palestine Advocacy Network president Nasser Mashni who told 3AW police had used pepper spray before tensions erupted.

“I’m very disappointed in the actions of a few police that decided at that moment 35 weeks later … that he’d decided to engage his pepper spray,” he said.

“The smoke emitter was not a flare, it was a smoke emitter – which as I understand it is not illegal to engage a smoke emitter.”

Asked about bottles being thrown at police, Mr Mashni said he had “not seen that vision” but would “condone no violence”, whether from protesters or police.

“I am against all violence. From what I’ve seen, there was a rash act by a police officer to engage in pepper spray with need. That vision is very clear,” he said.

“I am against all violence” is probably one of the funniest things Mashni has ever said given he cannot even bring himself to condemn Hamas and has liked posts celebrating October 7.

Meanwhile, Hash Tayeh has been fanning the flames:

Funny how he objects to police allegedly using pepper spray around children, babies, the elderly and the disabled, but when Hamas fire rockets from around them, all is good.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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