MONTREAL, Canada — Canadian police used tear gas Sunday following clashes between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters in Montreal, as the worst violence in years raged between the Jewish state and Islamist terrorists.
Several hundred demonstrators, draped in Israeli flags, had gathered in a central Montreal square to express solidarity with the Jewish state.
Although the protest had begun peacefully, tensions ratcheted up with the arrival of pro-Palestinian demonstrators and clashes soon broke out.
Video showed rocks being thrown at the pro-Israel rally.
The SPVM, Montreal’s city police force, declared the protests “illegal,” and squads of riot police intervened, using tear gas to separate and disperse the two groups, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.
The police spent much of the afternoon in pursuit of the pro-Palestinian protesters, who spread out and regrouped in commercial streets in the city center, which are frequented by many passers-by.
Rocks being launched against peaceful pro Israel demonstrators and #antisemitic slurs being yelled at them. This is NOT the Montreal and Canada that I know and love. People are free to peacefully disagree. This is just vile. https://t.co/RoyYDQ5ZXd
— Anthony Housefather (@AHousefather) May 16, 2021
Several thousand pro-Palestinian demonstrators had gathered Saturday in central Montreal to denounce what they said were Israeli repression and “war crimes” committed by Israel in Gaza.
Everyone has the right to assemble peacefully and express themselves freely in Canada – but we cannot and will not tolerate antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind. We strongly condemn the despicable rhetoric and violence we saw on display in some protests this weekend.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 17, 2021
Pro-Palestinian protests were also held throughout Saturday in other Canadian cities, including Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.
Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report.