Two Jewish schools in Montreal have been targeted by gunfire in less than a week, amid rising tensions over the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza.
Yeshiva Gedola, a Jewish school in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood, was shot at for the second time in less than a week, according to police. No one was injured, but the school’s facade was damaged. Police are investigating the shooting as a hate incident and asking for public assistance.
Another Jewish school in Montreal, United Talmud Torahs, was also hit by gunfire. No one was hurt, but a window was shattered. Police are also treating this incident as a hate crime.
The shootings occurred amid rising tensions over the conflict between Israel and Gaza, which started on Oct. 7, 2023 when Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing more than 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages. Since then, more than 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes, according to the United Nations.
The violence has sparked a surge of hate crimes and incidents in Montreal, targeting both the Jewish and the Arab-Muslim communities. Some examples include vandalism, graffiti, harassment, and physical assaults.
“We are very concerned about the situation. We are working closely with the police and the Jewish community to ensure their safety and security,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.
The Canadian government has condemned the attacks on the Jewish schools and expressed its concern for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
“We are appalled by these attacks on Jewish schools in Montreal. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community and we call for justice and accountability. We also express our deep concern for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and we urge all parties to cease hostilities and resume dialogue,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in a tweet.
The conflict between Israel and Gaza has also sparked protests and rallies in Montreal and other Canadian cities, with some turning violent. The police have urged the public to remain calm and peaceful.
– Montreal Jewish school target of another shooting in week-long string of hate crimes, Global News, November 12, 2023
– Montreal Jewish school targeted in shooting for 2nd time in less than a week, police say, MSN, November 13, 2023
– Shots fired at another Jewish school in Montreal amid tensions over Israel-Hamas war, The Guardian, November 13, 2023
– Montreal police probe shots fired at Jewish schools, MSN, November 10, 2023