Montreal marks six months since Israel-Hamas war – Montreal |

Six bloody months, tens of thousands dead, more than a hundred still in captivity and thousands on the verge of famine.

It’s against this backdrop that hundreds turned out in separate events Sunday to mark six months since the October 7th attacks triggered the war between Israel and Hamas.

At an auditorium in Côte-des-Neiges where members of Montreal’s Jewish community gathered, Margaret Mankin remembers her nephew Omer Shem Tov.

“Who was captured on October 7th at the Nova music festival,” she told Global. “We’ve had very little news about him all this time.”

Federal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather says his mind is also on the hostages.

“I’ve been in direct touch with many of the families of the hostages,” he says. “I’ve met with many of them and they don’t sleep, they don’t eat.”

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According to the Israeli government, 133 hostages are still being held by Hamas in Gaza, taken in the deadly chaos of October 7th. Those in Montreal concerned about the hostages and the conflict marched through Côte-des-Neiges and Hampstead before gathering at the Federation CJA building.

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Later, at Dorchester Square in downtown Montreal those with family and connections in Gaza protested Israel’s ongoing military action, continuing their long-standing calls for a ceasefire.

“All across Canada from its east coast to its west coast, we’ve been out, week after week, non stop,” Mahmoud Khalil of the group, Montreal for Palestine, explained.

He and others supporting Palestinians believe the population of Gaza is bearing too much of the brunt of the war.

The Gaza health ministry reports that more than 33 thousand people have been killed, though they don’t differentiate between militants and civilians. According to the United Nations, nearly a third of the population is on the brink of starvation.

In Montreal, protestors argue the Canadian government isn’t doing enough to force a ceasefire.

“Go watch the children of Gaza,” said Khalil. “Go watch the 13 year-old crying tears and telling you ‘I’m just trying to find food to feed my younger brother and sister because my parents have died.’ ”

Members of the Palestinian community vow to continue to speaking out. But Sarah Shamy of the Palestinian Youth Movement insists, despite everything, one thing gives them hope.

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“We are also seeing 6 months of steadfastness from our people in Gaza,” she said.


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