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Camera IconThousands have gathered in Perth’s CBD in support of Palestine in the wake of escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas. Credit: The West Australian

Calls to end Israel-Hamas war as thousands gather in Perth CBD for pro-Palestine rally

Headshot of Caleb Runciman
Caleb RuncimanThe West Australian

Thousands have gathered in Perth’s CBD in support of Palestine in the wake of escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Calls to end the war echoed across the city amid dwindling hopes of a ceasefire in the Gaza strip.

It comes after WA’s Friends of Palestine group held a similar demonstration through Perth last weekend.

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More than 1400 people were killed in Israel during Hamas’ heinous October 7 attack and upwards of 6700 Palestinians have died in Gaza in retaliatory strikes.

With the names of civilians who had died written on their bodies, more than 4000 people gathered at Forrest Chase on Saturday before marching through Perth.

The peaceful demonstration — which left many in tears as they listened to the pleas of speakers — began at 12.30pm.

Palestinian-born Ayman Qwaider, whose family were killed in an airstrike on Gaza last weekend, spoke to the crowd pleading for the violence to stop.

It comes after his sister, Alaa’ Qwaider, 32, and her children Eman, 5, Faiz, 3, and seven-month-old baby Sara were killed when their home in the Daraj neighbourhood of Gaza City was bombed.

Mr Qwaider said he had been unable to contact his remaining family following reports Israel had cut off the internet to Gaza on Friday.

Thousands attended a pro-Palestine rally at Forrest Place today by Friends of Palestine. Pictured - Ayman Qwaider
Camera IconThousands attended a pro-Palestine rally at Forrest Place today by Friends of Palestine. Pictured - Ayman Qwaider Credit: Daniel Wilkins/ Daniel Wilkins

WA Labor Senator Fatima Payman also spoke to the crowd.

“Let us raise our voices not just today, but in the days to come. . . Not in anger or hatred, but in unity and hope,” she said.

“Let us peacefully advocate for a ceasefire, to seek a just and lasting solution, and to stand in solidarity to stand for peace, justice and compassion.”

Speaking to The West, Maria Pineva, 19, said she attended the rally to support the Palestinian people living in a “humanitarian crisis”.

“I’m here on the basis of empathy ... if this was happening where I was from, I’d be absolutely devastated,” she said.

Greens senators Mehreen Faruqi and Jordan Steele-John also spoke at the rally.

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Thousands attended a pro-Palestine rally at Forrest Place today by Friends of Palestine. Picture: Daniel Wilkins/ Daniel Wilkins

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Thousands attended a pro-Palestine rally at Forrest Place today by Friends of Palestine. Picture: Daniel Wilkins/ Daniel Wilkins

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Thousands attended a pro-Palestine rally at Forrest Place today by Friends of Palestine. Picture: Daniel Wilkins/ Daniel Wilkins

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Thousands attended a pro-Palestine rally at Forrest Place today by Friends of Palestine. Picture: Daniel Wilkins/ Daniel Wilkins

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Pictured - Ayman Qwaider Picture: Daniel Wilkins/ Daniel Wilkins

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Thousands attended a pro-Palestine rally at Forrest Place today by Friends of Palestine. Picture: Daniel Wilkins/ Daniel Wilkins