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Calls for freedom in Ottawa to support Palestine

Chants of freedom rang through downtown Ottawa on Sunday, as crowds of people rallied in support of Palestinians at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin Street.

“We are here to call on our Canadian government to stop supporting Israel,” said Sarah Abdul-Karim, with the Palestinian Youth Movement.

The Israel-Hamas war is heading into its third week and many at the rally were calling for ceasefire, the protection of civilian lives, and more aid into Gaza.

Frustrations are mounting as Israel ramps up airstrikes on Gaza, two weeks after Hamas carried out its deadly attack, killing more than 1,400 people.

“As we saw the killings, most of them are women and children. We need the Canadian government to stand strong and ask for the ceasefire,” said supporter, Eli El-Chantiry.

Maha Buhisi has more than 200 family members living in Gaza. She says they are scared for their lives and are running out of supplies.

“They’re telling us that they’re not eating, they’re not drinking, they don’t have a lot of necessities that they need to get through their daily lives,” said Buhisi.

On Saturday, 20 trucks carrying water, food and medical supplies entered Gaza through Egypt. But Buhisi says it’s barely made a dent.

“It really is not that much for them. It probably helped a very minimal fraction of the citizens in Gaza,” Buhisi said.

As a ground invasion into Gaza appears more likely, calls for ceasefire in Ottawa are growing louder.

More than 4,000 people in Gaza have been killed since the retaliation of Israel, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. The loss of life on both sides is now more than 5,700 people.

“Canada is known in the world as a peaceful country. We always have peacekeepers where I grew up in Lebanon and we need to go back to that role as a peacekeeper,” said El-Chantiry.

The rally continued as supporters marched through downtown Ottawa. It is just one of many rallies over the past two weeks since the war broke out, with many pleading with the government to do more. 

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