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'You have blood on your hands': Pro-Palestinian protesters mob Trudeau at 2 BC restaurants

Justin Trudeau was mobbed by a group of pro-Palestinian protesters at two different Vancouver restaurants last night.

Police said a hundred officers were sent to a Chinatown eatery, believed to be Bagheera, after it was surrounded by people hostile to the prime minister.

One man was arrested for assaulting an officer and another for obstruction, while social media videos showed protesters waving Palestinian flags, shouting slogans and jeering Trudeau.

Sgt. Steve Addison said the officers were sent to control the crowd, which numbered about 250, so Trudeau could leave the restaurant just before 10 pm.

Addison said a 27−year−old man from Coquitlam was arrested after an officer was punched in the face and her eyes gouged while she was trying to disperse the crowd.

He said the officer was taken to hospital.

Videos posted on social media also show the prime minister being hounded by a noisy crowd inside a small, busy restaurant believed to be Vij’s, which is in a different part of the city.

The protesters can be heard chanting "ceasefire now" – a reference to the Israel-Hamas war provoked by the killing of more than 1,200 people in Israel by Islamic terrorists – and telling Trudeau: "You have blood on your hands."

One of the protesters also accused Trudeau of "fund[ing] genocide," while another screamed: "How many children have to die?"

The prime minister remained calm throughout the incident in Vij's, smiling and leaning over to speak to diners at the restaurant before walking out onto the sidewalk.

In a later video, protesters outside Bagheera could be heard chanting: "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."

Critics of that controversial chant – including the Israeli government – claim it is genocidal in nature, implying that the land between the River Jordan and Mediterranean Sea (i.e., Israel) will be cleared of Jews.

Its defenders, however, reject that notion, instead claiming it is concerned with the freedom and rights of the Palestinian people.

Earlier in the day, during a speech in Maple Ridge, Trudeau said of Israel's operation in Gaza: "The world is witnessing this killing of women, of children, of babies. This has to stop."

He added: "All innocent life is equal in worth, Israeli and Palestinian. I urge the government of Israel to exercise maximum restraint. The world is watching."

His comments were criticized by the Israeli government, with the country's leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, saying: "It is Hamas, not Israel, that should be held accountable for committing a double war crime – targeting civilians while hiding behind civilians.”

Charlotte Kates, an organizer with the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, said she was at both protests.

She said the protesters could not sit by and let political leaders "go about ordinary business."

"We want Canada to take a real position on this issue and not simply say that, you know, the Israeli occupation should be restrained," she said.

– With files from Canadian Press


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