Tensions run high as pro-Israel rally met by counter-protest; police deploy tear gas – About Your Online Magazine


MONTREAL –
As tensions escalate in the Middle East, a rally in downtown Montreal in support of Israel was met with a counter-demonstration on Sunday.

Pro-Israel protester Isabella Hazan said she believes she is fighting for “Palestinian rights, because Palestinians in Gaza are being used as human shields”.

But the counter-demonstrators offered a different narrative, with one saying: “We have respect for them and we have respect for our country. We will defend our country like anyone else ”.

Although the meeting in the city center began peacefully, the police distributed tear gas. A social media video showed a pro-Israel protester driving after the rally when her car was attacked, with the side mirror being damaged.

As of 5:30 am, a Montreal police spokesman said it was too early to say whether any arrests were made or if fines were imposed.

Rex Brynen, professor of Middle Eastern studies at McGill University, said both sides are likely to be guilty of war crimes in the decades-long conflict. He noted that those who live in the Palestinian territories have lived without political rights for several generations.

“Those being bombed in Gaza are the great-grandchildren of people who have been forcibly displaced and the grandchildren who have known nothing but occupation in the cage that is Gaza,” he said.

The current conflict in Israel and Gaza broke out after the threat of expulsion of several Palestinian families from the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. Hamas began firing rockets at Israel on Monday and Israel carried out several air strikes against Gaza. At least 188 Palestinians were killed at the dam, including 55 children and 33 women. Another 1,230 people were injured and 34,000 people were displaced from their homes, according to the UN Middle East envoy, Tor Wennesland.

Eight people in Israel were killed by the rocket attacks, including a 5-year-old child.

– With files from The Associated Press



Paula Fonseca