SYDNEY, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Australian police said on Friday a forensic analysis did not find evidence pro-Palestinian protesters chanted "gas the Jews" outside the Sydney Opera House last year, but the investigation found some used anti-Semitic slogans.

Around 1,000 pro-Palestinian supporters marched through downtown Sydney in October to the city's iconic Opera House, which the government had illuminated in the colours of the Israeli flag following an attack by Hamas.

Unverified footage on social media platforms showed a small group lighting flares and chanting some words with the subtitle "gas the Jews". Police had engaged an independent expert in biometric science to examine the audio-visual files.

"The phrase chanted during that protest ... was 'Where's the Jews?', not another phrase as otherwise widely reported," New South Wales state police Deputy Commissioner Malcolm Lanyon said during a media briefing.

Lanyon said there was evidence of other "offensive and completely unacceptable" anti-Semitic statements used by protesters.
"But I think the major contention has been about the phrase that was chanted," Lanyon said, adding the audio and visuals inspected by the police were not doctored.

People who gave statements to the police that they heard offensive slogans could not source it to any particular individual. Police will continue to investigate if offences were committed during the protests, Lanyon said.

The Israel-Hamas conflict has triggered protests from both Jewish and Palestinian groups across the world, including in Australia, which has seen rallies in its largest cities.

The Opera House protests happened days after the deadly cross-border attack by the Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Hamas on Oct. 7 that Israel said had killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians.

An Israeli offensive since then has laid waste to much of the Gaza strip. Health officials in the Hamas-ruled enclave said on Thursday the confirmed Palestinian death toll had risen above 27,000, with thousands more dead still lying under the rubble.

Photo from Reuters