MONTREAL: A Jewish-owned delicatessen in Toronto was set alight Wednesday in what police are investigating as a hate crime.
Early on Wednesday, firefighters were alerted to a blaze inside International Delicatessen Foods, located in the north of Canada’s largest city.
No one was injured, according to Toronto media reports.
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Graffiti reading “Free Palestine” had been painted on the doors of the establishment.
Toronto Police Staff Superintendent Pauline Gray said the arson attack could not be considered a lawful protest.
“It’s criminal. It’s violent, targeted and organized. We’ll use all resources available to investigate, arrest and prosecute those who are responsible for this,” she said.
Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow posted on social media site X, formerly Twitter, that “acts of antisemitism, hate and violence are not welcome here.”
At the end of November, Toronto police said they were facing a significant increase in hate crimes in the city since the most recent conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas began on October 7.