The final day of the Halifax International Security saw discussions on war and climate change from speakers and rallies about the Ukraine and Israel-Gaza wars outside the Westin hotel where the conference was held.
The security forum, which heard from high-profile guests such as National Defence Minster Bill Blair and former Israel prime minister Ehud Barak, wrapped up after a weekend of discussions. The war in Ukraine and climate change were the main topics on Sunday.
“When we stand up after a difficult night in some regions, after difficult news we receive depending on many other aspects…we live every day between hope and belief,” said Andriy Kostin, prosecutor general for Ukraine.
At the Peace and Friendship Park, a group of local Ukrainians held a rally and called for more international support. They were soon joined by hundreds of protestors who held signs in support of Palestine and called for a ceasefire in Gaza.
“We’re conveying that the people are awake and we’re alert and we will not stand for war crimes and our names using our taxpayer dollars and we will hold our politicians accountable for all their decisions for standing on the wrong side of history and not supporting human rights,” said Mohamad Elattar, a protestor at the event.
“The fact that I have to wake up every morning just looking for an, ‘I’m alive,’ text from human beings, I feel like the least I can do is show up to these protests and speak up about my back home and my country,” said Layan Abokhair.
Idod Moed, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, said his country will not be swayed by demonstrations as it continues its mission to destroy Hamas.
“You have to understand, we have to fight them,” Moed said. “We have to destroy them; otherwise they’ll come back at us and we can’t afford that to happen anytime in the future.
“It’s also for the sake of the Palestinians, I think, that Hamas organization should be destroyed.”
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