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Group stages silent vigil at U of A campus

Dozens of people attend a vigil staged by the group Students for Justice in Palestine on Nov. 21, 2023, at Edmonton's University of Alberta main campus. (Sean Amato/CTV News Edmonton) Dozens of people attend a vigil staged by the group Students for Justice in Palestine on Nov. 21, 2023, at Edmonton's University of Alberta main campus. (Sean Amato/CTV News Edmonton)
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Dozens gathered at the University of Alberta campus on Tuesday to mourn people killed in the Israel-Hamas war.

Those in attendance at the Edmonton post-secondary institution's main quad lit candles and wrote messages about the conflict on the pavement.

The event, organized by a group called Students for Justice in Palestine, saw attendees standing quietly and refraining from chanting to honour the thousands who've died in Gaza.

Names of victims were also read aloud.

After weeks of Israeli airstrikes and a ground invasion, more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed, two-thirds of them women and minors, and more than 2,700 others are missing and believed to be buried under rubble, according to Gaza's Health Ministry. The ministry says it has been unable to update its count since Nov. 11 because of the health sector's collapse.

Gaza health officials say the toll has risen sharply since, and hospitals continue to report deaths from daily strikes, often dozens at a time.

The Health Ministry in the West Bank last reported a toll of 13,300 but stopped providing its own count Tuesday without giving a reason. Because of that, and because officials there declined to explain in detail how they tracked deaths after Nov. 11, the AP decided to stop reporting its count.

The Health Ministry toll does not differentiate between civilians and combatants. Israel says it has killed thousands of Hamas militants but has not provided evidence for its count.

Israel and Hamas on Tuesday reached a deal to temporarily halt their devastating six-week war for 50 of 240 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip to be freed in exchange for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

But as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his cabinet for a vote, he vowed to resume the Israeli offensive against Hamas as soon as the truce ends.

With files from The Associated Press

Dozens of people attend a vigil staged by the group Students for Justice in Palestine on Nov. 21, 2023, at Edmonton's University of Alberta main campus. (Sean Amato/CTV News Edmonton)

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