Canada Teen Gets Probation After Punching pro-Israeli Demonstrator

The attack arose from a confrontation about Israel's 2014 war with Hamas. Harsh words between 300 pro-Palestinian demonstrators and 15 pro-Israeli counter-demonstrators escalated into blows.

Protestors in Ottawa, Canada, during a pro-Palestine demonstration on July 12, 2014
A pro-Palestinian demonstration in Ottawa, Canada, on July 12, 2014. In an altercation that month in Calgary, Alberta, a pro-Palestinian teen punched a pro-Israeli woman in the face. AP

A Calgary, Alberta, youth court sentenced a pro-Palestinian teen to 12 months of probation for punching a pro-Israeli woman in the face during protests last July, two papers in the city reported.

The attack arose from a confrontation in which harsh words between 300 pro-Palestinian demonstrators and 15 pro-Israeli counter-demonstrators escalated into blows, the Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun reported.

The pro-Palestinian side was protesting Israel's Operation Protective Edge, the seven-week war last summer against Hamas in Gaza.

The sentence requires the male teenager, who was 16 at the time of the incident, to do 30 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to the victim, Samantha Hamilton, 23.

“I have never felt fear like the fear I experienced that day,” Hamilton wrote in a victim-impact statement, the papers reported.

“I struggle to complete simple day-to-day tasks, because it’s hard to keep my mind from wandering back to the assault,” she wrote. “I’m living in fear to the point I no longer wear my Star of David or any signs of my political beliefs.”

Three adults from the pro-Palestinian side still face charges arising from the demonstrations. A hearing on those charges is set for a provincial court February 9.