At least 2,000 pro-Palestinian supporters took to the streets in Montreal yesterday to protest Israel’s military action in Gaza and call for an end to the fighting.
Among them, Rasha Ayouby. She told CTV News her family was forced to leave Israel nearly 40 years ago, because of persecution towards Arab Palestinians.
"Ceasefire or no ceasefire what we need to look at are the root causes of this conflict and address them once and for all,” she said.
The demonstration was one of the largest held since the start of the conflict.
Many also expressed the need for a real solution to the Gaza conflict based in international law, and they believe that the actions of the Israeli army could constitute war crimes.
There was also condemnation of the Canadian government's stance on the conflict.
Protesters believe that Prime Minister Harper has taken a pro-Israeli stance, and that it has not helped the plight of Palestinians.
Pro-Israel supporters say Israel is only defending itself from a known terrorist group that uses it's own people as human shields.
Luciano del Negro, vice-president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, says it's up to Hamas to make a change, as it is Hamas that has been putting its population in harm’s way.
"They will not refrain from using their own people to gain [an] international public relations victory,” he said.
Many protesters disagreed, arguing they want peace but don't believe Hamas is the source of the problem.
“The conflict is the expulsion of Palestinians not allowing them to come back, I am a living example of that—a lot of people here are living examples of that—so to just keep repeating this mantra that the conflict is about Hamas, is a deflection of what the true roots of this conflict are,” said Ayouby.