| 15 July 2024, Monday |

Shots fired at two Jewish schools overnight in Canada

Shots were fired at two Jewish schools overnight in Montreal, but no one was injured, police said Thursday as tensions in Canada over the Israel-Hamas war rose.

Bullet holes were found in the doors of the schools when staff arrived in the morning.

Earlier this week in Montreal a synagogue was firebombed and clashes erupted between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel student groups at Concordia university, officials said.

“I know emotions are high, and people are scared. But attacking each other is not who we are as Canadians,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

“If anywhere in the world is going to start building the kinds of understandings that we’re going to need to see peaceful resolution in the Middle East… it starts in a place like Canada,” he said.

On Wednesday Trudeau reported a “terrifying” rise in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia across the country.

He said Canada has a long tradition of peaceful co-existence among diverse peoples and said it was the “responsibility of every single Canadian to see how we are recognizing each other’s pain and fear and move forward.”

Montreal police told AFP nobody was injured in the shootings at the Jewish schools and the firebombing of the synagogue.

At Concordia, one person was arrested for assault and three were treated for minor injuries following the scuffles.

Administrators said that university, like others, has witnessed “a concerning rise in acts of intimidation and intolerant behavior” that have left students in fear.

In a separate incident, swastikas were discovered in one of the school’s buildings, they said in a statement.

Yair Szlak, a representative of the local Jewish organization Federation CJA, called the attacks on Jews in Quebec unacceptable.

“These are difficult times for Jews around the world,” he said. “There are those who are trying to import the war going on in Israel to the streets of Montreal.”

Quebec Premier Francois Legault called for a stepped up police presence in the province. Questioned by reporters he said he was also not ruling out banning protests related to the new Mideast war.

The war in Gaza began after Hamas militants on October 7 carried out the deadliest attack in Israel’s history, killing 1,400 people in Israel, mostly civilians, and taking some 240 hostages.

Israel has responded with relentless bombardment and a swelling ground offensive in Gaza, killing nearly 10,600 people, according to the territory’s Hamas-controlled health ministry.

The first 75 Canadians and their dependents left Gaza this week.

  • AFP