The protesters said they wanted to raise awareness of what Palestinians are going through as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalates.
“These people come from my country and they are murdered or bombed and it’s like nobody cares,” protester Sara Abu Hattab said.
“It’s like human rights are thrown out the window once it comes to Palestine.”
Canada calls for ceasefire as Israeli-Palestinian fighting escalates
Hundreds of people have died in recent days after Hamas, the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, launched rockets and Israel launched airstrikes.
Gaza’s health ministry says Israeli airstrikes killed at least 213 Palestinians, including 61 children, and injured around 1,500 other Palestinians.
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Israel says 12 people have died, including two children, and at least 300 have been injured.
Tuesday’s rally took place in Celebration Square in central Mississauga, and protesters also marched on nearby roads.
“This cause is very important to my heart and for once we are seeing protests making headlines, spreading and people hearing about it,” Abu Hattab said.
“So for me it’s all about raising awareness and letting the community know what’s going on.”
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Hamdi Ashour, from Gaza, attended the protest in Mississauga. He said his family’s home and workplace were recently bombed in Gaza.
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“Thursday – Eid – my family called me and told me their workshop and apartment had been bombed,” he said.
“They were called by the Israeli army and had five minutes to flee the house, then they shelled it on the ground. And the next day, they bombed my cousin’s factory which is only used to store granite. So now my family has no home and no income whatsoever. “
Given the situation in Gaza, he said he was happy to see demonstrators showing their support for the Palestinian people.
“I’m worried about COVID and everyone here, but it shows strong solidarity,” he said.
“If you look around, it’s not just the Palestinians. People come from all walks of the Earth, whether they are from different countries, different races, different colors and they are all standing because it is inhuman.
Since the fighting began, the IDF has launched hundreds of airstrikes it claims target Hamas’s militant infrastructure. Palestinian militants in Gaza fired more than 3,400 rockets at Israel.
Israel has pledged to continue its operations.
“We will continue to operate for as long as necessary to restore calm and security to all Israeli citizens,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.
Canada is now calling for a ceasefire. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will work with the international community to defuse the situation “so that there is no more loss of civilian life.”
– With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press