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Montreal Jewish community won't let itself be terrorized, school spokesman says

Students at a Montreal Jewish school were back in class today after their school building was hit by gunfire over the weekend for the second time in three days.

School spokesman Lionel Perez says that while parents are worried about the violence directed at the school, the Jewish community won't allow itself to be terrorized.

Police said Sunday they responded to an early-morning call about gunshots fired at the Yeshiva Gedola school, in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood, and arrived to find bullet casings on the ground.

It's the latest in a series of crimes since the start of the Israel-Hamas war that have left Montreal's Jewish community on edge, including previous shootings at Yeshiva Gedola and at another nearby school, as well as firebombs that caused minor damage to a synagogue and a Federation CJA office last week.

Nobody was hurt in those incidents, and Perez says the damage from Sunday's shooting is limited to the building's exterior.

He says Montreal police have increased their presence outside the school in order to prevent further crimes and to reassure the community.

Perez says scheduled classes were cancelled Sunday at the school, which hosts children from daycare to high school age, but resumed today.

"There's no doubt that people are concerned, preoccupied by this wave of incidences and crimes, but overall the population and the parent body and the community is not going to allow itself to be terrorized by such acts," said Perez, who is the father of a school alumnus, and a former member of the school's board. He is also the former leader of the opposition at Montreal city council.

He said he is grateful to police and to politicians of all levels for the support shown to the community, and urged them to continue to condemn hate speech and hate crimes.

"It's got to be continued to be reiterated that there's absolutely no room in our society for any kind of violence, whether it's schools, children or any synagogue or mosque or church," he said.

Montreal police had no update on the shooting investigation as of this morning.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2023. Top Stories

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