Australia to light up Opera House in Israeli colors after Hamas attack

It’s not the first time that the Opera House has been lit up in the colours of another country, with blue and yellow displayed on the sails after Russia began its war against Ukraine. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)

The Sydney Opera House will be lit up in the colors of the Israeli flag on Monday “in solidarity” with the Jewish community.

Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization by Australia, fired thousands of rockets into Israel on Saturday, catching the country – celebrating a religious holiday – by surprise. Armed militants infiltrated towns, killing, injuring and kidnapping civilians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war, vowing his country would exact an “unprecedented price” for one of the deadliest attack before launching an air strike on Gaza.

The Sydney Opera House will be lit up in blue and white on Monday night at 7:30pm “in solidarity”, NSW Premier Chris Minns has confirmed.

“On Monday the Sydney Opera House will be lit in Solidarity with the Jewish Communities of New South Wales, and those who may have family currently in Israel,” he said.

“We are deeply concerned about the horrific attack by Hamas on Israel and those who have been kidnapped.

“We will continue to work to ensure that we provide all support possible to those impacted across our state and are monitoring the situation closely to learn if any New South Wales citizens that are currently living in, on holidays or Pilgrimage in the Middle East are impacted.”

Though the death toll is expected to rise, Israeli media have reported about 250 deaths and more than 1500 injured by the Palestinian attack. Israel’s response has killed at least 232 people in Gaza and injured nearly 1700.

The move comes after the Coalition urged for the iconic landmark to be lit up, with Opposition Leader Peter Dutton taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, to voice his support.

The Opposition had earlier launched an attack on Anthony Albanese for taking over 12 hours to respond to the attack, with the Prime Minister writing on X at 6:23am Australian time that the nation “stands with our friend Israel in this time”.

Deputy Liberal Leader Sussan Ley was quick to call Mr Albanese out for his delayed response.

“It took him until 6am this morning to actually make a public statement about this. You don’t get nights off as a world leader and across the globe, we saw an immediate reaction from world leaders … and it took until this morning for Anthony Albanese to make that statement. I think he needs to be questioned about that today,” she told Sky News.

“I’m questioning his timing … You don’t get time off.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Sunday morning condemned the “abhorrent attack on Israel” but said Israel had “a right to defend itself”.

“This is a dreadful circumstance that people didn’t see coming,” he told ABC’s Insiders.

“We of course are worried about escalation.

“There is no precedent for what is occurring here.”

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said the acts “constitute egregious war crimes” in the targeting of civilians and are “an armed attack against a sovereign state”.

“We expect the State of Israel to take all necessary measures to defend itself and to defeat the terror forces of Hamas and restore peace for Israel’s citizens,” chief executive Alex Ryvchin said.

“We call upon the Australian Government to condemn without equivocation these flagrant crimes. Any calls for de-escalation by “both sides” or attempts to draw equivalences between the crimes of a terrorist organization and the defensive measures of a sovereign and democratic state are misconceived and only play into the hands of the terrorists.

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