Pro-Palestinian student demonstrators arrested in Australia for flag burning

Marcy Oster

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – A group of student demonstrators was arrested in Melbourne after burning an Australian and an Israeli flag in protest at Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

Police intervened Wednesday as protesters gathered inside the foyer of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, local media reported. They arrested about 10 students, who face charges of criminal damage and theft of the Australian flag, according to reports.

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,” he said.

“These types of acts from Students for Palestine do nothing to solve issues in the Middle East but instead serve to alienate Jewish students on campus.”

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