Canadians, Brits condemn Israeli raids

Israel Materials 4 January 2009 05:31 (UTC +04:00)

Thousands took to the streets in Toronto to urge the Canadian government to speak up against Israel's attack on Hamas targets in Gaza.

Thousands of people have demonstrated in major Canadian cities and London, demanding an end to Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip, reported Press TV .

On Saturday, as Israel's ground forces entered Gaza, protestors braving sub-zero temperatures in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver called for an end to hostilities.

"We demand an immediate ceasefire," said Diana Ralph, a coordinator with Independent Jewish Voices, a coalition of pro-Palestinian groups.

"We demand that the Canadian government press for an end to Israel's massacre in Gaza, instead of giving them diplomatic cover to kill more civilians."

In Toronto police were on hand as some 2,000 pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanted "Shame on Israel" and "Shame on America," according to CTV television.

In Ottawa 1,000 people marched on the Canadian parliament and the Israeli embassy.

Also on Saturday, about 12,000 people marched through London protest against Israel's military aggression on Gaza, police said, in a demonstration that began peacefully but ended in a string of arrests.

Many people carried red, green, white and black Palestinian flags and some chanted " Israel terrorists" and "Free, free Palestine" as they filed along the River Thames towards Trafalgar Square.

Police said about 12,000 people took part, but organisers of the Stop the War Coalition estimated the crowd at around 50,000.

The Israeli-Hamas conflict began a week ago with air strikes has left more than 460 Palestinians dead, and brought widespread destruction to the already impoverished coastal territory.