NSW Police arrest 19 after blocking Israeli ship arrival

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Police have arrested 19 people after they gathered at Sydney’s Port Botany to protest the arrival of an Israeli cargo ship they accused of transporting weapons and supplies for the country.

Hundreds of protesters, joined by federal Greens senator and deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi, began protesting close to the facility on Sunday evening before marching across Penrhyn Road, the main access point out of the city’s port facility.

Anti-Israel protesters at Port Botany on Sunday night.Credit: Nine News

They were protesting the arrival of the Gagnes container ship, a 225-metre-long container ship operated by ZIM, the largest publicly-listed cargo shipping company in Israel. Late last year, Malaysia banned the company from docking at its ports.

Footage from the scene shows Palestine Justice Movement Sydney protesters and union groups chanting, waving union and Palestine flags, and later clashing with police.

In a statement, NSW Police said the arrests were made after some in the group running the unauthorised protest failed to obey police directions to get off the road.

“The crowd was directed to move from the roadway, and given some time to do so,” the statement said. “A number did not comply, and were arrested for disobeying police direction.”

Anti-Israel protesters at Port Botany on Sunday night.

Anti-Israel protesters at Port Botany on Sunday night.Credit: Nine News

The 19 arrested were all taken to Surry Hills police station and later charged with obstructing roads or paths, failing to comply with a move on direction, and remaining “near or on [a] major facility causing serious disruption”.

They were issued a court attendance notice to appear before Downing Centre local court in early May.

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