Spencer Colby The Canadian Press “We are working extremely hard to help the more than 150 Canadians, and their families, we are potentially talking about 300 people , to be able to get out of Gaza,” Justin Trudeau said Friday morning. He is seen here Wednesday in Ottawa during a summit with leaders of Caribbean countries.
The Prime Minister of Canada assured Friday that his priority was to evacuate Canadian nationals from Gaza, while an Israeli ground operation seems imminent.
“We are working extremely hard to help the more than 150 Canadians, and their families, we are talking potentially around 300 people, to be able to get out of Gaza,” said Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of an announcement in Brampton on Friday morning.
He specified that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, has been working for “days and days” to coordinate with other countries a safe exit from this Palestinian territory, under fire from a counter- major Israeli offensive.
The Liberal leader did not distribute blame for the explosion at a Gaza hospital earlier this week, wanting to wait until it was “determined exactly what happened” with allied countries.
Humanitarian aid trucks are still waiting at the Egyptian border, near the Rafah crossing point, to go to the Gaza Strip. Egypt removed the concrete blocks that prevented their crossing on Friday.
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Government officials are due to take stock in Ottawa on Friday.
Questioned by journalists, Justin Trudeau commented on the differences of opinion within his caucus itself about Israel's military response.
“Canadians trace their origins to every corner of the planet. This is one of our strengths. […] Now, Canadians of Muslim origin, Arab and particularly Palestinian, are extremely concerned, as are Canadians of Jewish faith, who have ties to Israel,” he said.
At least six Liberal elected officials have expressed their wish to see Canada request a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, according to a compilation from Devoir. This is the position of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Green Party of Canada, which qualifies the support for Israel expressed by Canadian parliamentarians in the aftermath of the October 7 terrorist attacks.
Justin Trudeau pledged that the protection of civilian lives, “whether captive hostages of Hamas or civilians in Gaza or elsewhere” must be the government's primary concern.
More details will follow .
With Agence France-Presse