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Vancouver Jewish leader shares message from Israel during Iran attack

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As Iran launched a large-scale drone and missile attack on Israel over the weekend, a local Jewish leader was in Tel Aviv.

Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver chief executive Ezra Shanken posted a video on Facebook shortly before the attack.

He spoke from his hotel before booms and air raid sirens were heard throughout the country.

“I know that so many people here are scared,” Shanken said in the video. “This is the Israeli reality. This is why we must stand with our friends in Israel. This is why we have an Israel emergency campaign. This is why we strengthen the bonds between Israel and Vancouver, because there are moments like this.”

The attack – which happened early Sunday local time – was largely repelled by Israel.

Iran had pledged to retaliate after two of its generals were killed in an airstrike in Syria earlier this month – which it blamed on Israel.

The larger context of the escalating tension between the two nations includes the fact Iran funds Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two militant groups which carried out the Oct. 7 attack on Israel which killed 1,200 people and resulted in 250 people being taken hostage.

Israel has since carried out a significant offensive in Gaza, with health officials in the Hamas-controlled area claiming more than 33,000 people have been killed.

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