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Waterloo demonstrators 'sing for a ceasefire' in Israel-Hamas war

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Around 100 people gathered at Waterloo City Hall on Friday, raising their voices in song to mourn the lives lost in the Israel-Hamas war and call for a permanent ceasefire.

The “Mennonite Hymn Sing for a Ceasefire” is the second to be held at Waterloo City Hall since the war began four months ago.

On Oct. 7, Hamas militants burst across the border into southern Israel killing 1,200 people and taking 250 others hostage.

In the months since, an Israeli air and ground offensive has killed roughly 28,000 Palestinians, most of them women and minors, according to local health officials. Roughly 80 per cent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been displaced, and the territory has plunged into a humanitarian crisis with shortages of food and medical services.

Demonstrators participate in a Mennonite Hymn Sing for a Ceasefire at Waterloo City Hall on Feb. 9, 2024. (Chris Thomson/CTV Kitchener)

“Mennonites across the United States and Canada have been shocked and horrified, first by Hamas’ brutal attacks against Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, and then by Israel’s continuing attacks on Palestinian civilians, as the death toll climbs into the tens of thousands, including thousands of children,” organizer Niomi Anna Cherney said in an email.

Cherney noted the latest hymn sing comes after Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a plan put forward by Hamas for a multi-stage truce and hostage release.

Netanyahu vowed to press ahead with Israel’s military offensive in Gaza until they achieved “absolute victory.”

With files from The Associated Press.

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