Hundreds of pro-Israel supporters gathered at Dorchester Square one day after thousands attended a pro-Palestinian march demanding an end to Israeli airstrikes over the Gaza Strip.
Sunday’s demonstration was met by pro-Palestinian counter-protesters. Montreal police declared the rallies illegal after the two groups became violent with each other.
Footage captured of the protest showed at least one arrest and violence between demonstrators and riot police, who deployed chemical tear gas.
Police spokesperson Julien Lévesque could not confirm the number of arrests nor how many injuries were reported. A tally is expected to be given later.
After Saturday’s march, Jewish Canadian advocacy organization CIJA told Global News that part of the problem is that the issue gets simplified on social media.
On Saturday, Palestinian supporters honked horns, waved Palestinian flags, chanted and held up pro-Palestine, anti-Israel signs that read “free Palestine,” “end the occupation,” “boycott Israel,” “stop killing Palestinian children,” and more.
“I see posts that say this is not a complex issue — ‘this is very simple, there are good guys and bad guys, there are oppressors and the oppressed,’” said CIJA spokesperson Adir Krafman.
Krafman said that that is far from the truth. “This is one of the most complex geopolitical problems that we have in the world.”
This comes as the latest outburst of violence started in Jerusalem and spread across the region over the past week.
The hostilities have repeatedly escalated over the past several days, marking the worst fighting in the territory that is home to 2 million Palestinians since Israel and Hamas’s 2014 war.
— with files from The Associated Press
Thousands of Palestinian supporters demonstrate in Montreal against Israel’s military actions
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