Students at a Montreal Jewish school returned to class Monday after their school building was hit by gunfire over the weekend for the second time in three days.
School spokesman Lionel Perez said classes were canceled Sunday at Yeshiva Gedola School, which houses a daycare center as well as elementary and middle school classes. The students, however, returned to class on Monday, following the event which he described as a hate crime and terrorist attack.
“There’s no doubt that people are worried, worried about this wave of incidents and crimes, but in general, the population, parents and the community will not be terrorized by these acts,” said Mr. Pérez, father of one child. who attended the school and a former member of its board of directors. He was also leader of the official opposition of the city of Montreal.
Police said Sunday they responded to an early morning call about shots fired at the Yeshiva Gedola school in the Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood and found bullet casings on the ground once at the sites.
As of Monday morning, no arrests had been made and police had no updates on the investigation.
Series of hateful events
The school shooting represents the latest in a series of such episodes since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas that have left Montreal’s Jewish community in suspense. These include earlier shootings at Yeshiva Gedola and a neighboring school, as well as incendiary devices that caused minor damage to a synagogue and a CJA Federation office last week.
No one was injured in the incident, and Perez said damage caused Sunday was limited to the building’s exterior.
The shootings prompted the CJA Federation, a Jewish association, to ask for permission Sunday to hire off-duty police officers to guard Jewish schools and synagogues.
In a statement released over the weekend to X, the organization also called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to meet with federal intelligence and law enforcement officials “to determine the level of threat against the Jewish community and what can be done to guarantee the safety of our establishments”.
Perez said police increased their presence outside the school Monday, at the request of the community, to prevent further crime and reassure residents. He noted that he commended the support given to the community by police and politicians at all levels of government who were quick to condemn the shootings, and urged them to continue to fight against hate speech and crimes.
“It must be reiterated that there is no place in our society for any form of violence, be it schools, children or any synagogue, mosque or church,” he said.
To see on video