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Canadian airports and airlines practice vigilance on Hamas 'Day of Rage'

What is YVR Airport doing to ensure passenger safety?
Air Canada and YVR airport in Vancouver, BC are making safety a priority during the Israel-Palestine conflict and after Hamas declared a "Day of Rage."

Canadian airlines and airports continue to make safety their top priority Friday amid concerns related to a planned "Day of Rage" during the Israel-Palestine conflict

Following Hamas attacks over the weekend and Israel's subsequent declaration of war, Former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has called on people around the world to go into the streets to protest for Palestinians on Friday, Oct. 13.

Although Meshaal did not directly ask for violence, many people have voiced concerns about incidents potentially taking place in Canada.

Following the news, France banned participation in pro-Palestine rallies. On Friday, a man of Chechen origin who was under surveillance by the French security services over suspected Islamic radicalization stabbed a teacher to death at his former high school and critically wounded two other people in northern France on Friday, authorities said.

Vancouver law enforcement addressed the Hamas threat, telling V.I.A. that it will continue to deploy officers to all gatherings and demonstrations to ensure that they remain peaceful. 

"While there is currently no specific threat to any location in Vancouver, we’re closely monitoring global events to assess the risk of violence and disorder in the city," Sgt. Steve Addison told V.I.A.

Metro Vancouver Transit Police also encouraged people using public transportation to report any suspicious activity to police. 

YVR comments on the Hamas "Day of Rage" concerns

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) will continue operations as normal on Friday but said that "safety and security is our top priority." 

While the airport has not identified a specific threat, "YVR works closely and continuously with our multiple security partners to protect the safety of everyone working, travelling or transiting through our airport," spokesperson Shruti Ashok told V.I.A.

Air Canada echoed this sentiment, telling V.I.A. that safety and security are "always our top priority." 

As part of its normal operations, the airline monitors events daily and "always exercise vigilance."

Air Canada fired a pilot earlier this week after he showcased his anti-Israel signage on his social media and at a public rally. Stop Antisemitism, an American organization fighting antisemitism around the world, shared Ezzo's posts on its X profile, noting that "no Jew would feel safe flying with this antisemite."

Canada's largest airline announced Friday that it is cancelling all direct flights to and from Tel Aviv through the end of the month. The suspension is an extension of one that was put in place starting Oct. 8. 

The carrier typically flies to Tel Aviv from Toronto daily, and from Montreal three times per week. Vancouverites make a stop en route to Israel in one of the two cities.

Air Canada says passengers whose trips through Oct. 31 were cancelled can opt for a refund or re-booking. 

With files from the Canadian Press.

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