Toronto police
Toronto policeiStock

Toronto police on Saturday arrested four people on a highway overpass, located near a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, that has become the site of recurring pro-Palestinian Arab protests in recent weeks, The Globe and Mail reported.

In a post Saturday afternoon on X, the Toronto Police Service said four people “have been arrested and removed from the bridge.”

The post did not provide any other details and Toronto police did not immediately respond to questions on the incident.

The report noted that Toronto police Chief Myron Demkiw has previously said pro-Palestinian Arab protests at the Avenue Road bridge had become too volatile. He said it could become a chokepoint where counter-protesters may seek to occupy the same space, which could lead to violence between the two camps.

He also said these protests are striking fear into the heart of one of the city’s nearby Jewish neighborhoods, where the residents have made it clear that they feel intimidated.

The Toronto Police last week made headlines at a protest on the Avenue Road bridge, when an officer was seen serving hot coffee to the protesters.

Member of the Canadian Parliament, Marco Mendicino, posted on X that “police intentions just contribute to the problem. Good intentions aside, police serving coffee and food to protestors will just embolden more deliberate obstruction of traffic, undermine public safety, and add to local frustrations. Laws exist to prevent this. They need to be enforced!”

Toronto has seen an increase in acts of antisemitism since the start of Israel’s war against Hamas on October 7.

Recently published information from the Toronto Police Service shows that incidents targeting the city’s Jewish community nearly doubled in 2023.

In early November, an Indigo book store in downtown Toronto was vandalized with red paint and posters plastered on its front windows wrongfully accusing its Jewish founder and CEO, Heather Reisman, of “Funding Genocide.”

Last week, a Jewish-owned grocery store in Toronto was spray-painted with the words “Free Palestine” and later set on fire.

In the last few days there have been two incidents of antisemitism in the city of Vaughan, located just north of Toronto.

Last Saturday, a 34-year-old was arrested in what police are calling a suspected hate-motivated assault.

The incident occurred as a group of four Jewish adults were walking home from a synagogue when they were approached by a man on an e-bike. Police say the victims felt intimidated by the way the man was riding the bike near them.

An argument broke out before the man allegedly spat at the group and made antisemitic comments. He rode away before officers arrived, before being arrested a few hours later.

On Tuesday, two masked men shattered the windows of an SUV in Vaughan, which was adorned with decals of the Israeli flag. The suspects fled the scene and police are searching for them.