Jewish-owned Toronto deli set ablaze in suspected antisemitic arson attack

‘Free Palestine’ graffitied on entrance to eatery; Canadian police vow to use all resources to catch culprit; Toronto mayor says antisemitism ‘not welcome here’

Toronto Police officers walk the scene at Danforth St. at the scene of a shooting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 23, 2018.
Illustrative: Toronto Police officers patrol in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 23, 2018. (AFP /Cole BURSTON)

A Jewish-owned delicatessen in Toronto was set alight Wednesday in what Canadian police are investigating as a hate crime.

Early on Wednesday, firefighters were alerted to a blaze inside International Delicatessen Foods, located in the north of Canada’s largest city.

No one was injured, according to Toronto media reports.

Graffiti reading “Free Palestine” had been painted on the doors of the establishment.

Toronto Police Staff Superintendent Pauline Gray said the arson attack could not be considered a lawful protest.

“It’s criminal. It’s violent, targeted, and organized. We’ll use all resources available to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those who are responsible for this,” she said.

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow posted on the social media site X, formerly Twitter, that “acts of antisemitism, hate, and violence are not welcome here.”

At the end of November, Toronto police said they were facing a significant increase in hate crimes in the city since the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror group began on October 7, when terrorists burst across the Gaza border and rampaged through southern communities, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping 240 to Gaza.

Israel has responded with a military campaign aimed at toppling the Hamas regime in Gaza and releasing the hostages.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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