Pro-Palestine protesters attempt to block two major entryways to Patrick Terminal at Fremantle Port

Harriet FlinnThe West Australian
Camera IconCredit: Ross Swanborough/ Ross Swanborough, pro Palestine Protest at the arrival of an Israeli vessel into port, protesting outside Patrick Terminal in Fremantle, Perth.

Fremantle Port has become embroiled in the ugly anti-Israeli protests taking place around the country after hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters set-up a picket line to disrupt the loading of a ship owned by an Israeli company.

Police had blocked off the entrances to the Patrick Terminal as the protesters carrying Palestine flags and chanting “free, free Palestine” descended on Saturday afternoon, taking aim at ZIM, an Israeli international shipping line.

One activist was seen resisting police as they tried to move her away from the group in handcuffs.

Police confirmed there were no arrests, however four move-on notices were issued.

As the rally started to take shape, the protesters divided themselves into two groups in an attempt to block the two major entryways to the terminal.

Pro-Palestinian protesters clash with police at the arrival of an Israeli vessel into port in Fremantle.
Camera IconPro-Palestinian protesters clash with police at the arrival of an Israeli vessel into port in Fremantle. Credit: Ross Swanborough/ Ross Swanborough

Trade Unionists for Palestine WA spokeswoman Grace Brooks said the group targeted ZIM because it has been used to ship weapons in the past and was “complicit in this genocide and until that changes we will disrupt their business”.

“As trade unionists who care about peace, we cannot stand by as our fellow workers in Palestine are being subjected to what can only be described as genocide,” she said.

A Fremantle Ports spokesman said it worked closely with WA Police and the stevedoring firm Patrick to “ensure the safety of the public and protesters, but also the continuation of port operations”.

“That will continue,” he said.

The activists are reportedly planning to return at specific times to prevent the shift change of workers.

The protest was among the many rallies that have taken place across the country since Israel declared war on Hamas in retaliation to the attacks on October 7.

Similar action taken by protesters targeting ZIM ships at the Port of Botany in NSW last month ended in 23 arrests.

Police blamed “professional protesters” for the violence which included scuffles with officers after about 400 people took part.

The Fremantle protest also comes after talks to extend a week-old truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed, prompting a resumption of hostilities.

Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza after the deadline lapsed shortly after dawn on Friday while sirens blared across southern Israel as militants fired rockets from the coastal enclave into towns.

Pro-Palestine protesters outside Patrick Terminal in Fremantle, Perth.
Camera IconPro-Palestine protesters outside Patrick Terminal in Fremantle, Perth. Credit: Ross Swanborough/ Ross Swanborough

Hamas said it had targeted Tel Aviv, but there were no reports of casualties or damage there.

By the evening, Gaza health officials said Israeli air strikes had killed 184 people, wounded at least 589 others and hit more than 20 houses.

-with AAP

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