Pro-Palestinian graffiti sprayed onto US consulate in Sydney, Australia


Australian Prime Minster Anthony Albanese on Monday condemned vandalism of the US consulate in Sydney after the building was defaced in what local media said appeared to be a pro-Palestinian protest.

The building in the northern suburbs of Australia’s largest city was attacked and sprayed with paint by a person carrying a small sledgehammer at around 3 a.m. local time on Monday, New South Wales police said.

“I would just say that people should have respectful political debate and discourse,” Albanese said in a televised media conference from Canberra when asked about the incident.

“Measures such as painting the US Consulate do nothing to advance the cause of those who have committed what is of course a crime to damage property,” he added.

Damage to the US consulate

Nine windows of the consulate were damaged and the building’s door was graffitied, police said.

“CCTV has been sourced that shows a person wearing a dark colored hoodie with their face obscured carrying what appears to be a small sledgehammer,” a police spokesperson told Reuters by phone.

A Palestinian flag flutters next to the protest encampment in support of Palestinians in Gaza at The University of Sydney, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Sydney, Australia May 3, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/ALASDAIR PAL)

Photos of the consulate on the website of the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper showed inverted red triangles sprayed on the building’s front. The symbol is used by some pro-Palestinian activists, it reported.

The same building was sprayed with graffiti in April, while the US consulate in Melbourne was graffitied by pro-Palestine activists in May, according to the newspaper.

Long a stalwart ally of Israel, Australia has become increasingly critical of its conduct in Gaza, where an Australian aid worker was killed in an Israeli attack earlier this year.

Last month, camps sprang up at universities in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and other Australian cities protesting Israel’s war in Gaza and claiming the Australian government has not done enough to push for peace.

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