Demonstrators call for sanctions on Israel during Montreal protest
MONTREAL -- A group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators were out in Montreal's streets on Saturday, calling on the Canadian government to enact sanctions against Israel.
“We're asking for those lives that were lost to be brought justice,” said organizer Bara Abuhamed. “To those families that were affected to be brought justice, those families that were evicted to be brought justice.”
The protest game during a tenuous ceasefire that followed the latest flareup in the decades long conflict between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. At least 230 Palestinians were killed by missile and bomb strikes, including 65 children and 39 women while over 1,700 were injured.
Twelve people in Israel were killed.
Abuhamed said he wants to see the Canadian government place sanctions on Israel.
“Palestinians have been going through oppression for decades and we're still silent about it,” he said.
David Levy, Israel's consul general in Montreal, accused the protesters of supporting Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza.
“The people demonstrating today outside the consulate of Israel support Hamas, which is designated in Canada as a terrorist organization,” he said. “This is an organization that opposes peace, opposes a two-state solution.”
Levy tied recent anti-Semitic incidents in Montreal to the conflict, saying “Jews in Montreal and all across Canada feel unsafe.”
One protester said that all they want to see is Palestinians living “in peace. Just let us live in our homes in Jerusalem.”
“All that we're asking is to live side-by-side by Israel in real peace, no more negotiation for the sake of negotiating.”
The Canadian government has announced $25 million in humanitarian aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.