Hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters have clashed with police at one of Australia’s largest ports overnight with up to 23 people arrested as they tried to block an Israeli ship.
The group, which were protesting the unloading of a ship owned by Zim – an Israeli shipping company — gathered at Port Botany, 12km south of Sydney’s CBD, on Tuesday night.
The protest began peacefully but quickly escalated after police blocked the demonstrators from marching down one of the roads at the port.
The group then decided to hold a sit-in with officers, some on horseback, attempting to move them on at about 8.45pm.
As tensions reached a boiling point, police began making arrests at the ‘unauthorised gathering’ with up to 23 protesters arrested.
‘When a peaceful sit-in to blockade a Zim shipping boat turned violent as NSW police started throwing down and arresting protesters, corralling us with horses and forcing us against a fence,’ a woman captioned footage of the protest on TikTok.
A NSW Police spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: ‘A police operation has now concluded on Foreshore Road, Port Botany, following a unauthorised gathering.
‘Police arrested 23 people and they were taken to number of different police stations where they are assisting police with their inquiries.’
Hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters have clashed with police at one of Australia’s largest ports overnight with up to 23 people arrested (pictured, protesters clash with officers)
The group, which were protesting an Israeli shipping company, gathered at Port Botany, 12km south of Sydney ‘s CBD, on Tuesday night (pictured)
It’s understood some of those arrested remained in custody overnight.
The group held a similar protest against the same Israeli shipping company at Port Botany and in Melbourne earlier this month.
Last Saturday, protesters in boats and jetskis confronted the 13,000-tonne cargo ship Contship Dax as it approached the container terminal to dock and unload.
Some activists claimed the vessel would be taking on supplies of armaments to be shipped to Middle East for the Israeli Defence Force to use against Hamas in Gaza.
But Israeli-based operator Zim Integrated Shipping dismissed the claims and said it was simply on its regular run between Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
‘The ships carry all types of Asian consumer products like white goods, textiles and food stuffs,’ a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The ship does not carry any arms shipments.’
The gun-running rumours spread after Greens leader David Shoebridge told the Senate that Australia had scores of secret weapons export deals with Israel.
‘There is a blockade tomorrow at Botany to prevent wmds [weapons of mass destruction] destined for Palestine,’ posted one user on social media.
The shipping company targeted by Saturday’s jetski blockade at Sydney ‘s Port Botany has denied claims it was gun-running weapons for Israel to use in Gaza
Drill rap star and alleged Alameddine drug gang associate Ali ‘Ay Huncho’ Younes posted footage of the blockade on TikTok where followers repeated the false weapons claim.
On Wednesday, several officers were seen monitoring the situation at the port.
The most recent demonstration follows weeks of similar protests held across Australia as pro-Palestine supporters call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted NSW Police in relation to the incident.
Several social media posts advertised the Port Botany jet ski protest claiming Zim was an ‘Israeli weapons transporter’. It was not