A member of the local Hasidic Jews Council claimed the shootings were intended to intimidate the community
Unidentified gunmen have opened fire on a Jewish school in Montreal, Canada. The incident took place on Sunday and follows an earlier attack on the same institution last Thursday.
According to the Canadian national broadcaster CBC, bullet impact marks were discovered on the facade of Yeshiva Gedola of Montreal, and shell casings were also found on the ground nearby. No one was injured.
Police told the press that they had received several calls about gunshots in the area around 5am. Witnesses said they had seen a vehicle fleeing the scene at the time of the shooting, but no arrests have yet been made, the news agency reported.
Lionel Perez, a spokesman for the school, described the incident as a “terrorist attack,” and called for an increased police presence at Jewish establishments.
On Thursday, the same facility was also targeted by unidentified gunmen, alongside another Jewish institution in the neighborhood, the Talmud Torah elementary school.
The incidents come as Israel continues retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza following an attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7. According to police, 73 acts of hate were recorded against the Jewish community in the following month, and 25 against the Muslim community, local media reported.
Commenting on Sunday’s shooting, Mayer Feig, a member of the Council of Hasidic Jews of Quebec, said such actions are intended to intimidate the community, adding that “there’s a conflict going on thousands of miles away, don’t bring it here,” CBC reported.
Following the incidents, the Combined Jewish Appeal (CJA) called for the hiring of off-duty officers to guard Jewish schools and synagogues. The organization is “urgently requesting” that the prime minister meets with federal intelligence and national law enforcement officials “to determine the threat level.”
Mayor of Montreal Valerie Plante called for a “fight against anti-Semitism,” adding that all residents “have the right to feel safe.”
Anti-Semitism in Canada has increased since the Gaza conflict broke out, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a few weeks ago.
However, other countries have also reported recent attacks on Jewish institutions. In Germany, Molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue. In Austria, a Jewish cemetery was torched and vandalized with Nazi symbols. In France, up to 20 Jewish schools were evacuated due to bomb threats, although no explosives were found.