Toronto police launched a hate crimes investigation into comments made by an Arab community leader who called for the murder of Israelis.
“We have received a complaint with regards to things said at last week’s Al-Quds Day rally, a global and annual event started by the late Iranian cleric Ayatollah Khomeini to press for the “liberation” of Al-Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
There is an investigation ongoing,” Toronto police spokeswoman Wendy Drummond told the Canadian Jewish News.
Addressing an Al-Quds Day rally on Aug. 3, Elias Hazineh, former president of Palestine House in suburban Toronto, said “an ultimatum” must be issued to Israelis: “You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine,” he said.
“We say get out or you’re dead! We give them two minutes and then we start shooting. And that’s the only way that they will understand,” Hazineh said to cheers from a crowd of approximately 400 at the annual rally.
His remarks were captured on video and posted to several blogs and websites, including YouTube.
Hazineh later said his comments were not meant to be taken literally.