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Montreal police investigating after Jewish community centre hit by Molotov cocktail

An incendiary device was thrown through the front door window of the Jewish Community Council of Montreal in the Côte-Des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-De-Grâce borough early Monday morning.   (Stéphane Grégoire/Radio-Canada - image credit)
An incendiary device was thrown through the front door window of the Jewish Community Council of Montreal in the Côte-Des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-De-Grâce borough early Monday morning. (Stéphane Grégoire/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Police are investigating after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a Jewish community centre in Montreal's Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough early Monday morning.

Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant says a 911 came in around 1 a.m. for an incendiary device thrown through the front door window of a building on Décarie Boulevard, near Vézina Street.

Rabbi Saul Emanuel, executive director for the Jewish Community Council of Montreal (JCC), says there was damage to one of the entrances of the building, but no one was injured.

"It did make it through the door, but other than that there was no further damage except for charred floors, walls and the glass panel of the front door was blown out," he told CBC.

The SPVM's arson squad is leading the investigation. The hate crimes unit has been advised of the case, although it is not yet actively involved in the investigation.

Police say they will be reviewing CCTV footage from the area.

Emanuel says the attack came just hours after some 60 people from the Jewish community gathered in the building to discuss using a federal program to pay for improved security at their schools and organizations.

Local members of parliament, including Liberal MPs Anthony Housefather and Rachel Bendayan, were in attendance.

"I was afraid," said Housefather, who represents the federal riding of Mount Royal.

"I think Jewish community members across Canada are afraid of the number of times that buildings that we occupy are being targeted."

Previous incidents in the city include firebombings that caused minor damage at a synagogue and a Jewish organization, as well as gunshots hitting two Jewish school buildings.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante promised on Monday that police were working hard to track down the culprits, and reiterated her support for a Jewish community that is "once again plunged into worry."

"Montreal is a city of peace and inclusion," she wrote on the platform X, formerly Twitter. "It must remain so and we'll make sure of it."

Both Emanuel and Housefather are encouraging police to do more and be given more resources to ensure the protection of Jewish institutions.