Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi contacted the prime minister, adding his call for a ceasefire in Gaza and Israel, and asking for support to address racism and hatred in his country.
In a letter dated November 21, Sohi added his support to calls for an immediate ceasefire, a safe evacuation of the last Canadians still in the region, the release of all hostages and unrestricted aid to in the face of the humanitarian crisis.
“Even though the conflict is happening thousands of miles away, for many Edmontonians it is incredibly personal,” Sohi wrote. “My office has received an unprecedented amount of correspondence from Edmontonians, with more than 3,000 emails, hundreds of social media mentions and numerous phone calls urging action for the security of the Palestinian and Israeli people.
The Israeli government on Wednesday approved a temporary ceasefire with the Hamas militant group, which is expected to end fighting for the first time in a devastating six-week conflict and allow the release of dozens of hostages held captive in the Gaza strip.
The agreement provides for a four-day ceasefire, during which Israel will cease its military offensive in Gaza while Hamas releases “at least” 50 of the approximately 240 hostages it is holding and other activists, the agreement said. office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The first hostages released were women and children.
In his letter, Sohi also asks for support from the federal government “to protect religious and cultural facilities from hatred and violence in Edmonton.”
“Locally, Edmonton is experiencing a worrying escalation in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia,” Sohi wrote. “I’ve heard from many Edmontonians that they don’t feel safe. I have spoken and heard stories from many members of the Jewish and Muslim community who feel and experience targeted hatred in schools, places of worship, and in public spaces.
Sohi said he takes these concerns extremely seriously.
“There is no place for hatred in Edmonton.”
The Mayor explained steps Edmonton is taking to combat racism and hatred, including creating an online platform to quickly identify hate symbols, providing operational support and providing funding to communities and organizations to combat hatred and racism, as well as the city’s anti-racism strategy.
“I also urge the Government of Canada to support local community organizations, including the City of Edmonton, to better support initiatives to respond to and prevent anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
— With files from Josef Federman and Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press
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