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Gaza ceasefire calls echoed in Edmonton: 'Do the right thing'


Thousands gathered in Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton on Saturday to participate in a global call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The demonstrations across Canada including Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Fredericton, Winnipeg and Calgary were organized by Palestinian Youth Movement. The group says demonstrations were organized in 30 cities in Canada and more than 100 cities around the world.

"We're here to call for ceasefire in Palestine and an end to the siege in Gaza and an end to support of Israeli occupation," Mousa Qasqas told CTV News Edmonton. "There's really a lot of global consensus right now amongst people and we feel like Justin Trudeau needs to do the right thing and call for an immediate ceasefire."

Qasqas expected as many as 5,000 people to join the Edmonton rally on Saturday.

Many carried signs that read "ceasefire" or "defund genocide." Others read, "Save Palestine children," and "Free Palestine."

Israel has denied the characterization that it has occupied Gaza for 75 years.

It declared war after Hamas, the political and military organization that governs Gaza, invaded Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,400 people and taking 200 back into Gaza as hostages. Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government since 2002.

Israel has launched daily attacks since then, including near hospitals and refugee camps, stepping up bombardments over the past week and triggering growing global alarm about the lack of food, fuel and basic supplies for Gaza's roughly 2.3 million residents.

According to the Hamas-run Gazan health ministry, more than 9,440 Palestinians have died.

"Our first speaker has lost family there and still has family there. Many of us have family back in Gaza and the West Bank and there's a lot of concern for them," Qasqas said.

"There's no other way to put it. This is a genocide."

Palestine Youth Movement is demanding Canada end its support for Israel's military action against Hamas.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's John Hanson and The Canadian Press 


A previous version of this story mistakenly reported Israel attacked hospitals in Gaza. On Oct. 30, the World Health Organization said two hospitals were damaged from nearby airstrikes the previous two days. Officials in Gaza blamed the deadly Oct. 17 blast on Israel, but Israel denied it was involved and released information it said showed the blast was from a missile misfire by Islamic Jihad, another militant group operating in Gaza. Top Stories

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