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Survivors of Hamas attacks speak at Montreal march calling for return of hostages


A reported 134 people are still being held hostage by Hamas. Every Sunday, a group marches in Hampstead on the island of Montreal, calling for their return.

This Sunday, the locals brought in some special guests to take their efforts a step further: survivors of the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel.

Batia Holin, Rotem Holin, Asaf Artel and Lior Shitrit were greeted with a standing ovation.

They've been in Montreal for a few days, sharing their stories at synagogues and, in this case, at the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA.

Batia and Rotem Holin and Artel said they hid in safe rooms in their Kibbutz for hours, while Shitrit recounted his experience at the Nova music festival.

He said he hid inside a small room with 20 other people while they listened to the attackers outside.

"We heard a rifle touch the door and then he shot one bullet," he described.

Each story gripped the crowd of around 150 people, moving many to tears.

"When you hear them, there is no hard feelings. They just want some peace. They just want to be back at home. They don't want a war," said Montrealer Ruben Hassan, who was among the crowd.

Organizers hope the stories will inspire demonstrators to carry on the weekly march.

"These resilience of these survivors in overcoming the obstacles and the hateful acts perpetrated against them by the terrorists is going to be enough to lift everyone up," march participant Edwin Orion Brownell told CTV News.

Participants say gatherings like this one are almost a form of community therapy.

"It's a way to remind our Jewish community that people stand with them and stand with them proudly," Brownell continued.

The group says it will continue to march until all the hostages are freed from captivity.

"It's the least I can do to show my support," said Hassan. "Come every Sunday until everyone is home." Top Stories

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