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Police advise of traffic delays, closures as thousands flood downtown Toronto streets for pro-Palestinian rally

A crowd estimated to be in the thousands has gathered in Toronto’s downtown core for a pro-Palestinian demonstration in front of the U.S. Consulate General.

The rally, organized by Palestinian Youth Movement, is calling for an end to Canadian aid to Israel, as well as a ceasefire in the Gaza region.

The consulate is located on University Avenue north of Queen Street West. Toronto police have advised that University Avenue will be closed between Dundas Street West and Queen Street West while protestors are on-site at the consulate.

It’s the third consecutive weekend of significant demonstrations in Toronto related to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

A sign reads, ‘Pray for Palestine,’ at a march in downtown Toronto on Oct. 29, 2023. (Mike Walker)

Rally follows humanitarian aid heist in Gaza

Today’s rally follows news out of the Gaza Strip that “thousands of people” broke into Gazan aid warehouses to take flour and basic hygiene products, according to reports from a U.N. agency monitoring the situation.

Reports from the Associated Press indicate the death toll among Palestinians has passed 8,000, including “mostly women and minors.”

Thomas White, Gaza director for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, called the warehouse break-ins “a worrying sign that civil order is starting to break down after three weeks of war and a tight siege on Gaza.”

Toronto police denounce hate crimes in light of Gaza-Israel conflict

In advance of Sunday’s rally, Toronto police posted a statement on X (formerly Twitter) saying that hate crimes will be investigated thoroughly.

“We will not tolerate any intimidation, harassment, or hate-motivated behaviour aimed at specific communities,” the post reads.

This is a developing story. More to come.

With files from The Associated Press

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