Calgary’s city hall was the site of two rallies on Monday, with hundreds of people coming together to express their support for both the Israeli and Palestinian sides in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. The rallies took place on the same day that Israel’s military announced a complete siege on Gaza, retaliating after a surprise attack by Hamas militants. The conflict has claimed the lives of over 1,000 individuals and left thousands more injured.
One of the gatherings was organized by Students Supporting Israel at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University. Rather than focusing on protest, the event aimed to foster a somber atmosphere and provide a space for mourning and solidarity with the people of Israel. Attendees, draped in Israel’s white and blue flag, lit candles to remember those lost in the recent attacks.
Among the participants was Shira Kogut, who personally feels the impact of the conflict as she has family and friends in Israel. She spoke of one loved one being taken by Hamas while defending his family on a holiday morning. Kogut emphasized the importance of ensuring the safe return of innocent civilians in the face of terrorism.
The second rally held later in the day, the Justice for Palestinians rally, called for the liberation of Palestine. Organizers highlighted that the violence is not a recent occurrence, pointing out that nearly 250 Palestinians had already lost their lives this year alone before the attack on Saturday. The group stressed the need for understanding the underlying tensions that have contributed to the ongoing conflict.
Despite the emotional and charged atmosphere, both rallies were closely monitored by a heavy police presence to prevent any disturbances. Police arrested a man during the afternoon for breaching the peace, although it is believed he had no affiliation with either group.
Those standing with Israel emphasized the desire for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, underlining that the focus should be on preserving human life. Their ultimate goal was to promote coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis, allowing both communities to live in peace together.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How many people attended the rallies in Calgary?
Both rallies in Calgary attracted hundreds of attendees.
2. What was the purpose of the rally organized by Students Supporting Israel?
The rally organized by Students Supporting Israel aimed to create a solemn atmosphere for mourning and to show solidarity with the people of Israel.
3. What did the Justice for Palestinians rally call for?
The Justice for Palestinians rally called for the liberation of Palestine.
4. Were there any disturbances during the rallies?
A man was arrested during the rallies for breaching the peace, but it is believed he had no affiliation with either group.
5. What was the main message conveyed by Israel supporters?
Israel supporters emphasized the importance of a peaceful resolution to the conflict, promoting coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis.