Several thousand Palestinian supporters marched in downtown Montreal on Saturday to denounce Israel’s recent military violence in the Palestinian territories this week.
The protest started at Lafontaine Park as crowds marched through the downtown streets, making their way to the Israeli consulate in Westmount Square.
Accompanied by riot police, people 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.
“We have to make people know what’s going on there,” one demonstrator told Global News.
Jewish Canadian advocacy organization CIJA told Global News that part of the problem is that the issue gets simplified on social media.
“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.
Since Monday night, Gaza’s ruling militant group Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, which has pounded the Gaza Strip with strikes.
In Gaza, at least 145 people have been killed, including 41 children and 23 women; in Israel, eight people have been killed, including a man killed by a rocket that hit Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv, on Saturday.
There were also widespread Palestinian protests Friday in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces shot and killed 11 people.
Similar demonstrations to Montreal’s were held in Paris, London, Brussels, Rome and Madrid on Saturday.
–with files from The Associated Press