NEWS

Hundreds of Montrealers protest Gaza bombings

11/18/2012 04:14 EST | Updated 01/18/2013 05:12 EST
Palestinian supporters took to the streets of Montreal to express their solidarity with people who live in Gaza following five days of bombing.

Several hundred protesters gathered near Concordia University in downtown Montreal to take part in the demonstration Sunday afternoon.

They made their way to Parc Émilie Gamelin, at Berri Street.

A heavy police presence kept an eye on the rally to make sure it remained peaceful.

Québec Solidaire Members of the National Assembly, Françoise David and Amir Khadir, were part of the crowd, showing their support for the cause.

"It's important to show solidarity with the Palestinian people," said Khadir. "And by the way, the Israeli people [are] also suffering from all those war mongers who have [an] interest [in] the war."

He said that the Canadian and U.S. governments should intervene and help impose peace "instead of supporting whatever Israel does."

Representatives of the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine said people who live in Gaza are in the biggest "open air prison" in the world and under constant threat of attack from Israel.

They added that the attacks "are happening with unconditional support from the Canadian government."

Jonathan Kalles, spokesman for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said the protest was a sign of hypocrisy.

"You don't hear one word to account for the thousands of rockets that have fallen on Israeli civilians," said Kalles. "Israeli counter-attacks are to defend against those rocket attacks and to stop them from being able to shoot. There are no moral equivalencies."

A small pro-Palestinian vigil was held in front of Montreal's Israeli consulate in Westmount on Friday following a smaller protest against the bombings.

Sunday, the bombings persisted in Gaza and Israel despite talks brokered by Egyptian officials.

An Israeli envoy flew to Cairo for talks with officials there. Israel has said it is not prepared to enter into a ceasefire with Hamas unless it provides guarantees the rocket fire won't resume.

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