Overnight shooting at Jewish school in Montreal

Montreal experienced another alarming incident of antisemitic violence, the fourth time a Jewish school has been targeted with gunfire since the October 7, 2023, Hamas terror attack against Israel. Residents are shaken and frustrated, calling out the lack of police presence and criticizing Mayor Plante's leadership.

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Once again, Montreal has been struck by antisemitic crime. This marks the fourth instance of a Jewish school being hit by bullets during the night. Last November, the Jewish school Yeshiva Gedola and the United Talmud Torah of Montreal in the Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood were shot at, with bullet holes discovered in the facade of the buildings.

Last night, the Belz Community High School, which also serves as a synagogue, was similarly attacked. Witnesses reported the shooting occurred around 3:30 a.m.

"One of the employees noticed a broken window during the day," said community activist Mayer Feig. "They checked the cameras and saw someone coming during the night and firing four shots into the building."

Residents are understandably shaken.

"I heard five pow, pow, pow, pow, pow sounds, very dry and distinct, not last night, but the night before," a neighbour recalled. "It was around three o'clock. I was so afraid I just lay down on my bed."

Another resident said: "I've lived in Montreal here on North Crest for 40 years and never saw this before. What's going on in the city? Where is Mayor Plante?"

Concerns extend to the city's leadership. "I don't see any police, no patrolling, nothing," said another resident.

"I've been living here for 45 years. My parents brought me here from Israel for a better life. We don't trouble anyone. I'm very disappointed with Mayor Plante and the Liberals here. They're doing nothing."

In the broader context of multiple antisemitic crimes and hate speech, there is growing concern over recent news that Adil Charkaoui was not prosecuted criminally for his hate speech delivered in Montreal in front of thousands of supporters.

"I think the criminal codes for hate need to be relooked at and strengthened because if people like that cannot be penalized under the criminal law, it means that the current laws are not working," said community activist Feig.

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