Anthony Albanese calls for protesters to ‘turn the heat down’ after US consulate vandalised

Ellen Ransley
The Nightly
2 Min Read
The US consulate has been vandalised in North Sydney. (Paul Walker)
The US consulate has been vandalised in North Sydney. (Paul Walker) Credit: Paul Walker/7NEWS

Anthony Albanese has called for pro-Palestinian protestors to “turn the heat down” after the United States consulate in Sydney was vandalised on Monday morning.

New South Wales police were called to the consulate in North Sydney about 3am, following reports someone had damaged nine windows at the front of the building with what they believe to be a small sledgehammer.

The windows had also been painted with inverted red triangles, a symbol used by some pro-Palestinians to signify support against Israel.

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Police have reviewed CCTV which they say shows a person outside the building carrying what appeared to be a sledgehammer, but could not confirm whether that person was also responsible for the graffiti.

The US Consulate has been vandalised in North Sydney. (Paul Walker)
Forensic police at the US consulate. (Paul Walker) Credit: Paul Walker/7NEWS

Asked about the incident at a press conference on Monday morning, the Prime Minister decried the incident, saying such acts of vandalism “damage our reputation with ourselves, and how we see ourselves”.

“I reiterate my call to turn the heat down. Measures such as painting the US consulate do nothing to advance the cause of those who have committed a crime to damage property,” he said.

Mr Albanese again recognised the “complex” issue that is the ongoing Middle East conflict but said Australians had a responsibility to ensure they engaged with respect.

“I would just say that people should have respectful political debate and discourse, that’s in everyone’s interest,” he said.

“People are traumatised by what is going on in the Middle East, particularly those with relatives in either Israel or in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” he said.

The US Consulate has been vandalised in North Sydney. (Paul Walker)
Police were called to the consulate in North Sydney at about 3am, following reports someone had damaged nine windows at the front of the building with what they believe to be a small sledgehammer. (Paul Walker) Credit: Paul Walker/7NEWS

The attacks on the consulate came after Israel freed four hostages from Gaza on the weekend, eight months after they were captured by Hamas.

In the retrieval process, local authorities say at least 210 Palestinians were killed and about 400 were wounded as a result of Israeli strikes in al-Nuseirat.

Mr Albanese said while Australia welcomed hostages being reunited with their families, he reiterated the call for civilians to b protected.

“There has been too much loss of life - both the Israelis and Palestinians,” he said.

“I reiterate the call for Hamas to release all of the hostages unconditionally, and I reiterate our support for President Biden’s peace proposal. We want a ceasefire.

“We want to deal with these issues in the short-term, but we also want a long-term solution, and that requires a two-state solution.”

The US Consulate has been vandalised in North Sydney. (Paul Walker)
Multiple windows were damaged. (Paul Walker) Credit: Paul Walker/7NEWS

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