Clashes break out at massive pro-Palestinian rally in Toronto (VIDEOS)

A large pro-Palestine rally has been held in Toronto, Canada amid the escalation between Israel and Gaza. The gathering was met by a small pro-Israel group, and the two sides engaged in scuffles despite a massive police presence.

The rally, organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), was held in central Toronto on Saturday. The organizers urged the participants to show their support towards the Palestinian cause, condemning the past and ongoing “ethnic cleansing of Palestine.” 

Toronto.🇵🇸🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/gRZbKo2qR4

— aisha🇵🇸 (@aishabagel) May 16, 2021

The protesters carried a large Palestinian flag and chanted “Free free Palestine, occupation is a crime.”

#Toronto we stand with #Palestine ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/vOzaljSKfI

— rowiththefro | FREE PALESTINE 🇵🇸 (@rowiththefro1) May 16, 2021

The rally encountered a small-scale counter-protest, with some activists displaying insignias of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a religious-political organization devoted to battling anti-Semitism “by any means necessary.” The JDL is designated a terrorist group in the United States.

While the opposing rallies were separated from one another by a massive police barrier, this did not prevent sporadic clashes.

Toronto, Nathan Philips Square right now #FreeFreePalestine pic.twitter.com/qpRpTYr0bx

— Preethy Sivakumar (@preethysiva) May 15, 2021

At least one pro-Palestinian protester was detained by the police for assaulting pro-Israeli protesters. The arrest further angered the crowd, with some protesters accusing the officers of being “Zionist” as well. Anti-police slogans were heard during the altercation.

LIVE in Toronto: Pro-Palestine protestors cheer and fights break out as the pro-Israel counter-protestors are escorted out of Nathan Phillips Square. pic.twitter.com/lnFB7C7sIA

— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) May 16, 2021

At least one pro-Israeli activist was assaulted by rowdy pro-Palestinian protesters, who attacked the elderly man with sticks and pant belts. The protester sustained injuries to his head, footage from the scene shows.

Pro Palestine protestors beat an elderly Jewish man in Canada. They also sexually assaulted a Jewish girl (whom I just spoke with). This is not normal. pic.twitter.com/aSSdW9NAHN

— Eli 🦁 (@EliKohn3) May 16, 2021

The pro-Palestinian gathering has been blasted by Jewish advocacy group B’nai Brith Canada, which condemned it for “brutal assaults” on the pro-Israeli activists. The groups invoked the Covid-19 card as well, branding the rally a “super-spreader” event.

The protest comes amid ongoing escalation in the Middle East. Israel and the Hamas militant group have been exchanging air and rocket strikes for several days. The flare-up has resulted in civilian deaths on both sides of the conflict.

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Source:RT World News

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