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Tensions high as Palestinian & Israeli supporters rally in Toronto

Emotions ran high at duelling rallies in Toronto over the continuing crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Hundreds of Palestinian and Israeli supporters gathered at Queen’s Park in Toronto on Saturday, with each side on opposite ends.

The rally then made its way down University Avenue to outside the U.S. consulate, with the pro-Israeli group marching on the other side of the street.

Below is a video taken outside Queen’s Park (680News/Momin Qureshi):

Below is a video taken outside the U.S. Consulate (680News/Momin Qureshi):

The two sides clashed as they marched to the U.S. Consulate, so Toronto police had to use horses and bicycles to keep them separate.

One protester named Hannah said she came to show her support for the residents of Gaza.

“Innocent children are getting killed. This is wrong. If you’re human, you have to stand up for these kids and innocent people that are under occupation,” she said.

University was closed in the area due to the rally, affecting TTC streetcar service at Queen and Dundas streets, but the roadway has since reopened.

A similar protest was held in front of the Israeli consulate on Bloor Street on July 11, with Palestinian supporters on one side of the street and Israeli supporters on the opposite side.

Around 1,000 Palestinian supporters rallied in downtown Calgary on Friday night. Dozens of police officers were on hand to separate them from 100 Israeli supporters who were on the other side of the street, but there was no violence.

A 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip expired at around 1 p.m. ET.

An Israeli government official said that country’s cabinet has decided to extend a humanitarian cease-fire for 24 hours, but that troops will respond to fire from Hamas militants, according to a report from The Associated Press.

A Hamas official said the group has rejected the four-hour extension of the initial 12-hour truce, and militants said they fired rockets at Israel.

Earlier on Saturday, foreign ministers from seven nations called for an extension of the truce in Gaza.

Over the past 19 days, over 1,000 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded, a Palestinian health official said. Israel has lost 40 soldiers and two civilians.