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Hampstead to issue $1,000 fines for removing posters of Israeli hostages

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A Montreal suburb is poised to pass a new bylaw that would impose a $1,000 fine against anyone caught tearing down posters of missing Israeli citizens.

The mayor of the Town of Hampstead, home to a large Jewish population, said that the proceeds from the fines "will go to Israel."

Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that killed more than 1,400 Israelis, more than 200 people have been taken hostage. In a show of solidarity with those missing, people have taken to the streets worldwide posting photos of the hostages to call for their release from Hamas, which Canada considers a terrorist organization.

As the war rages on into its fourth week, 9,400 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza so far, including more than 3,900 children

Some have been tearing down those posters.

Hampstead Mayor Jeremy Levi announced the new bylaw in a post on social media.

"Hampstead will adopt a by-law that will impose a $1,000 fine to any person that removed the Israeli hostage posters from public property," the post read. "Furthermore, 100 per cent of the sums collected from this infraction will be donated to Israel."

Mayor Levi's office said he was not available for an interview on Friday.

When reached by email, Levi told CTV News that there have not been any reports of posters being taken down in the town.

He also wrote in the email that "we are planning on having these posters up throughout the town for an undetermined time, and are taking pro-active measures to ensure there are no issues forthcoming."

He said the town is expected to pass a resolution at the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 14.

In a tense altercation last month, a video shared on Instagram showed a man confronting a security guard at McGill University taking down posters of missing Israeli citizens from a pole on campus. A university spokesperson told CTV News it's standard practice to remove posters that aren't authorized.

In another incident last week, an online video showed a BIA board member in Barrie, Ont., confronted by a woman for removing posters of Israeli hostages, sparking an outrage.  

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