Intense scenes emerged from the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield South on Friday night as a fight broke out between a group of Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestine protestors, requiring police to intervene and arrest a man.
A group of Pro-Palestine supporters were meeting together at Princes Park on Friday evening. Across the road from the park a group of Pro-Israel supporters were also rallying, with police lined on Hawthorn Road between the two parties.
Police have stated that there was approximately 150 people present from each group.
However despite a police line between the groups, tensions still managed to get out of hand when one man stormed the barrier.
Footage shows people yelling at each other from cars and across the police line. Witnesses say people were shouting racial slurs towards each other and throwing bottles over the police line, as well as reports from police that one man received injuries from having a rock thrown at him.
Incredibly tense scenes in Melbourne’s East tonight when a pro-Palestinian rally, with hundreds of supporters was held at Princes Park, in the heart of Caufield South.— Mike Lorigan (@mikelorigan) November 10, 2023
At least one man has been arrested. @abcnews pic.twitter.com/yU7zfM4SKZ
Police say that as a fight broke out on the road they were forced to use pepper spray to neutralise one man who was arrested for breaching the peace. He was apparently yelling, “free Palestine motherfuckers.”
Pro-Palestine and pro-Israel rally’s clashing in Caulfield South, Melbourne (Australia).— Tom Zreika (@tom_zreika) November 10, 2023
Police say about 150 people gathered along Hawthorn Road, with more than two dozen police officers separating the groups.
Peace to all… pic.twitter.com/ExF90621mk
“Our main priority is keeping the peace and ensuring the event is safe for those attending and the broader community,” stated Vic Police.
The Palestine supporter’s meeting was in response to an alleged arson attack on a local burger shop owned by a Palestinian-Australian, who claims his store was targeted as a “hate crime.”
Police have stated that though the attack on the store is suspicious, they do not believe it was politically motivated, with Vic Police Inspector Scott Dwyer saying: “I would warn people not to make assumptions or draw lines of inquiry that aren’t there between this incident and anything else that is occurring.”
In response to the violent scenes, Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan stated on X/Twitter that there is no place for anti-Semitism or Islamophobia in Victoria.
I reaffirm my call for Victorians to show each other love, care and support in these difficult times.— Jacinta Allan (@JacintaAllanMP) November 10, 2023
It is our diversity that makes us great, and our compassion that unites us – there is never any place for antisemitism or Islamophobia in Victoria.
“I reaffirm my call for Victorians to show each other love, care and support in these difficult times,” wrote the Victorian Premier.