A flotilla of flag-waving pro-Palestinian protesters in boats and jetskis confronted the 13,000-tonne cargo ship Contship Dax as it approached the container terminal to dock and unload.
‘The ships carry all types of Asian consumer products like white goods, textiles and food stuffs,’ a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The ship does not carry any arms shipments.’
The shipping company targeted by Saturday’s jetski blockade at Sydney ‘s Port Botany has denied claims it was gun-running weapons for Israel to use in Gaza
A flotilla of flag-waving pro-Palestinian protesters in boats and skidoos laid siege to 13,000-tonne cargo ship Contship Dax as it approached the container terminal to dock and unload
Some activists had claimed it would be taking on supplies of armaments to be shipped to Middle East for the Israeli Defence Force to use against Hamas in Gaza
The large-scale waterborne protest successfully turned the ship away from the port and it sailed down to Melbourne instead, where it arrived on Monday.
The gun-running rumours spread after Greens leader David Shoebridge last week told the Senate that Australia had scores of secret weapons export deals with Israel.
‘There is a blockade tomorrow at Botany to prevent wmds [weapons of mass destruction] destined for Palestine,’ posted one user on social media.
Drill rap star and alleged Alameddine drug gang associate Ali ‘Ay Huncho’ Younes posted footage of the blockade on TikTok where followers repeated the false weapons claim.
‘Taxpayers’ money is being used to supply weaponries,’ posted one.
Another added: ‘Your arms are being funded by Australia into our docks hence why they did what they did.’
Several other posts advertising the Port Botany protest insisted Zim was an ‘Israeli weapons transporter’.
Another wrongly claimed after the protest: ‘Australian people blocked a cargo ship owned by Israel alleged [to be] carrying weapons to Israel.’
The demonstration came after defence officials told a Senate hearing that Australia had signed off 52 secret weapons export deals to Israel this year, and 322 since 2017.
The government insists Australian weapons export deals to Israel have been for non-lethal equipment, including radios, body armour, software and vehicle parts.
The gun-running rumours spread after Greens leader David Shoebridge last week told the Senate that Australia had scores of secret weapons export deals with Israel
Incorrect posts claiming the cargo ship was running weapons
Several social media posts advertised the Port Botany jet ski protest claiming Zim was an ‘Israeli weapons transporter’. It was not
The demonstration came after defence officials told a Senate hearing that Australia had signed off 52 secret weapons export deals to Israel this year, and 322 since 2017
But Senator Shoebridge insisted: ‘Few people know that Australia has one of the most secretive, unaccountable weapons export systems in the world.
‘The Australian government approves hundreds of military sales to Israel and we have no idea what the weapons are or how they are used.
‘Our government doesn’t tell us who we’re exporting weapons to; doesn’t tell us what the weapons are; doesn’t tell us who profits here in Australia from the sale of weapons.
‘Even the US has more transparency on weapons sales than Australia. Time to tell the truth.’
The new details – revealed by the Greens senator in a speech to the Senate on November 7 – sparked wrongful speculation the Contship Dax would be picking up weapons for Israel when it docked on November 11.
Palestinian and Australian human rights organisations launched legal action in the Federal Court last week to try to access more details on Australia’s weapons deals.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Al-Haq and the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights joined the Australian Centre for International Justice to file the legal action.
It is seeking details of all Australian weapons deals with Israel since the Hamas offensive launched on October 7, 2023.
Defence minister Richard Marles insisted however: ‘Israel has not sought any weapons from Australia and we have not provided any.’
Saturday’s jetski blockade came three days after more pro-Palestine activists had stopped trucks loading cargo onto another Zim ship in Melbourne.
Campaigners claim operator Zim has previously shipped armaments to Israel, but the company insisted Contship Dax – which operates under a Cypriot flag – was not playing any part.
Shipping records indicate Zim’s Contship Dax was on its frequent regular shuttle runs between Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand when the protest blocked it
Saturday’s jetski blockade came three days after more pro-Palestine activists had stopped trucks loading cargo onto another Zim ship in Melbourne
Shipping records indicate it was on its frequent regular shuttle runs between Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand when the protest blocked it.
‘The ship operates on the Asia-Australia trade, serving the Australian market and Australian customers and consumers, bringing essential merchandise to the Australian markets from Asia,’ said a Zim spokesman.
‘In recent weeks, some Zim ships have been targeted by pro-Hamas protestors in Australia.
‘These actions, intended to disrupt our commercial operations, are both illegal and misguided, affecting the local markets.
‘We strongly condemn these incidents and are collaborating with local authorities to prevent further occurrences.’