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Protesters stand in silence Sunday for ceasefire in Gaza

Edmontonians stood together in silence Sunday, calling for an end to violence in Gaza.

A small group held a vigil in front of City Hall in support of a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

“We’re coming together to stand together in our hope for a cessation of the violence in Gaza, in Ukraine as well,” said Asher Kirchner, one of the organizers. “There’s too much killing going on.”

All people, regardless of faith or nationality, were welcome to attend and observe an hour of silence at 7 p.m.

However, demonstrators were asked not to bring flags or signs specifically in support of Israel or Palestinians.

The request was made because the event is “not about taking a side,” Kirchner said, adding that he is Jewish and has connections with both groups.

“It just breaks my heart to see the anguish that the Jewish community here is in and the Palestinian community is in,” he said. “They’re upset over what’s going on over there. They’re also scared about what’s going on over here.

“There’s been a rise in anti-semitic incidents, there’s been a rise in our anti- Palestinian racist incidents. So I think it’s important for all people of goodwill in the city to come together and to support a call for peace … so that Jews and Palestinians don’t feel alone in their grief and their sorrow.”

Kirchner said the vigil was small, but there will be more and he expects attendance to grow at future events.

“I’m hopeful that there will be Palestinians and Jews coming together here as well as Canadians of other stripes,” he added.

No more dates have been announced yet for the event.  

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