Canada News

Get the latest new in Candada


City of Ottawa will fly Israeli flag at City Hall on May 14 but won’t hold flag raising ceremony

The flag of Israel will fly at Ottawa City Hall on May 14 to mark the country’s Independence Day, but the City of Ottawa says it will not hold the customary flag-raising ceremony due to concerns about public safety.

“The City of Ottawa celebrates national holidays and independence days and holds flag-raising events and activities, in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, for more than 190 federally recognized countries,” the City said in a news release Tuesday evening.

Ottawa has been marking Israel’s national day since 2007.

This year, however, the City said it is not holding a public ceremony after consulting with Ottawa police and other stakeholders.

“This decision is based on recent intelligence that suggests hosting a public ceremony poses a substantial risk to public safety,” the City of Ottawa said. “The City must prioritize the safety of its residents, visitors, and employees. Therefore, this year’s commemoration will occur without the customary ceremony.”

The date comes more than seven months since the deadly Hamas attack in Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, during which militants killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took about 250 people hostage. Israel says Hamas still holds around 100 people captive. It’s estimated that the Israeli response has displaced around 80 per cent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people and killed more than 34,500 people, according to the health officials in Gaza.

There have been regular protests in Ottawa since Oct. 7, some of them attracting thousands of people. Some pro-Palestinian groups have called on city officials not to raise the Israeli flag this year because of the ongoing conflict, while noting that Palestinians observe Nakba Day one day later on May 15, to mark the establishment of the State of Israel and the displacement of Palestinian people.

The City says its decision to raise the flag, but not hold the customary ceremony “reflects a commitment to safeguarding the welfare of all Ottawa residents, while upholding principles of inclusivity and respect for diplomatic relations.”

–With files from The Associated Press.

View original article here Source