US consulate in Sydney vandalized with suspected anti-Israel graffiti: report

The U.S. consulate in Sydney was vandalized by a sledgehammer-wielding suspect who smashed windows and spray painted anti-Israel graffiti on its doors, reports say. 

The incident that unfolded around 3 a.m. local time Monday in the suburbs of Australia’s largest city is now drawing condemnation from the country’s prime minister, according to Reuters. 

‘I would just say that people should have respectful political debate and discourse,’ Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was quoted as saying. ‘Measures such as painting the U.S. Consulate do nothing to advance the cause of those who have committed what is of course a crime to damage property,’ 

Images taken from the scene show inverted red triangles painted on the front of the building’s doors – a symbol Reuters reports has been used by anti-Israel protesters. CBC News also says the symbol has been used by Hamas to identify Israeli military targets in videos. 

Nine windows of the building reportedly have been damaged and the suspect behind the vandalism remains on the run. 

‘CCTV has been sourced that shows a person wearing a dark colored hoodie with their face obscured carrying what appears to be a small sledgehammer,’ a police spokesperson told Reuters. 

A spokesperson for the consulate also told Reuters that operations inside have been unaffected and that ‘Australian Federal Police and New South Wales Police are investigating the incident.’ 

The same consulate was sprayed with graffiti in April, including the words ‘Freee (sic) Gaza.’ The U.S. Consulate in Melbourne, meanwhile, was vandalized by anti-Israel agitators on May 31. 

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns said an overwhelming majority of Australians did not approve of such vandalism. 

‘We can make our point in this country without resorting to violence or malicious behavior,’ Minns said. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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