NRL legend Josh Addo-Carr has voiced his support for Palestine amid a major escalation of conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The footy star took to social media to voice his support, connecting it with Indigenous issues in Australia.
“One struggle, one fight,” he shared on Instagram.
Horrific conflict broke out on Saturday after militant group Hamas fired more than 3500 rockets into Israel in an unprecedented surprise attack. Armed militants also stormed towns, killing and capturing civilians.
Israel has responded with force, hitting more than 500 targets on the Gaza Strip in retaliatory strikes.
NCA NewsWire does not suggest that Addo-Carr’s post was in support of Hamas’ attack on Israel.
Mr Addo-Carr is not the only football player to wade into the debate over the conflict, with Sonny Bill Williams sparking criticism over a retweet on Sunday evening.
“So, Ukrainian civilians defending their families are ‘freedom fighters’…But Palestinians in Gaza doing the EXACT same thing are ‘terrorists’?” the tweet he liked and shared said.
“PRAYING FOR GAZA!!” Mr Williams said in a separate tweet.
The tweet drew the ire of talkback radio host Ray Hadley, who called for the NRL legend to be sacked by Channel 9 over his stance.
“Now, Sonny Bill Williams has re-tweeted something from some other lunatic, and he says, so Ukrainian civilians defending their families are freedom fighters, but Palestinians in Gaza doing the exact same thing are terrorists,” Hadley said on 2GB on Tuesday morning.
“As I’ve said, if brains were dynamite, Sonny Bill Williams wouldn’t blow his ears off.
“It’s embarrassing for me and other people connected with this radio and TV network that he’s employed by – and I think that the CEO of the company should review his employment prospects.”
Israel is now “at war” after the surprise attack from Hamas militants, with hundreds of its civilians now confirmed dead and hostages have been taken.
It has also announced a total blockade of Gaza, cutting off food, electricity and fuel supplies as a part of a “complete siege”.
The conflict has reverberated around the world, with services for mourners and fiery anti-Israel protests taking place in capital cities in Australia.
Around 1000 protesters gathered at Sydney’s Town Hall for a Free Palestine rally on Monday evening, before walking to the Sydney Opera House, which had been lit up in blue and white in solidarity with Israel.
Melbourne will see its own Free Palestine Rally on Tuesday with at least 500 people planning to attend a “snap action” protest at the State Library.
Police became aware of the planned protest in Sydney on Monday and had decided to allow it to take place according to NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke.
“(We were able) to prevent the risk of conflict, to prevent the risk of offences, disturbances to the public right throughout the city,” Mr Cooke said.
“This is clearly a very emotive issue across communities … (and) we do not expect people to bring conflict from other places to the streets of Sydney.”
While the protest was underway, a man who was spotted waving the Israeli flag was arrested by police in what Mr Cooke said was an attempt to keep the peace.
The man has since been identified as father of two Mark Spiro, who told Sky News he felt the officers’ actions were “excessive”.
On Tuesday, Mr Cooke clarified that Mr Spiro had been removed from the protest as his presence “could have caused significant risk to him and others”.
“I understand his view … (but) it was necessary,” he said.
“In the circumstances the best option for us was to take the actions we did.”
More to come.