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Justin Trudeau refuses to say if he considers the blockade of Gaza legal

Nathan Denette The Canadian Press Even if the opportunity presented itself several times, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau , seen in a photo taken here last Thursday, has never wished to define what he means by the “respect for international law” that he expects from Israel.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeatedly avoided responding directly to questions on Thursday about his assessment of the legality of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

“It’s an extraordinarily difficult situation that we face,” Mr. Trudeau said at the outset, before blaming the Hamas hostage-taking for the scale of the crisis in which the Gaza Strip is plunged.

Even though the opportunity presented itself three times during a press briefing in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories, the Prime Minister never wanted to define what he means by “respect for international law » that he expects from the Hebrew State. “We of course recognize Israel's right to defend itself in line with international law,” he simply repeated.

This reference to international law was described as ambiguous by Julia Grignon, professor at Laval University. This international law specialist believes that this statement may suggest that the rules allow for a military response by Israel in Gaza, which she considers inaccurate.

Despite its pretensions, “in practice, Canada accepts everything Israel does to circumvent international law,” criticizes Rachad Antonius, retired professor from UQAM and specialist in the Middle East.

To read also

  • The total siege of Gaza is prohibited by international humanitarian law, recalls the UN
  • The Gaza Strip, under Israeli siege, in maps and data
  • Live | The latest news on the Israel-Hamas war

Like the entire Canadian political class, Justin Trudeau has denounced Hamas as “terrorist”. The Palestinian armed group claims the killing of hundreds of civilians and the taking of dozens of hostages during a coordinated attack on Saturday in Israel.

“Hamas' decision to take innocent people hostage is yet another example of their barbarity and atrocities,” the prime minister said after a question focusing more on the Israeli response to the events.

A A total siege of the Gaza Strip was announced Monday by Israel's defense minister, cutting off water, food and electricity, among other essential goods, to the 2.4 million people who are crowd into this Palestinian enclave.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recalled that this blockade is in fact prohibited by international humanitarian law.

Political hesitation


The leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Jagmeet Singh, will travel to Hamilton on Friday to participate in his party's convention. NDP international affairs critic Heather McPherson told CBC she expected members to debate the issue. An emergency motion could still be tabled on this subject on Thursday. The leader must also be subject to a vote of confidence by his members on Saturday.

The convention takes place in a city where an NDP MPP had to apologize for criticizing Israel's “apartheid” without accusing Hamas.

In a lengthy statement released Monday, Mr. Singh denounced “Hamas’ terrorist attacks,” while insisting “that Israel respects international law and protects the lives of innocent Palestinian civilians who bear no responsibility for Hamas’ terror.”

< p>For his part, Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre carefully avoided criticizing Israel on Wednesday when asked about the Gaza blockade. “You have to remember that it was Hamas that caused this, Hamas targeted civilians,” he explained, calling the group a “sadistic, genocidal [and] terrorist death cult.” He calls for severe sanctions against Iran, which supports Hamas.

More than 250 returnees, 4 missing


Furthermore, the Government of Canada evacuated more than 250 of its nationals stuck in Israel aboard two government flights to Greece. Nearly 800 Canadians there had requested assistance at the time of writing.

Another Canadian has been added to the list of missing people since Saturday's attack, officials confirmed. authorities on Thursday, bringing the Canadian toll to four missing and three dead.

Canada is maintaining its humanitarian aid to Gaza, in addition to providing an additional $10 million to various Red Cross partners in the region, including the Palestinian Red Crescent and Magen David Adom. “No Canadian aid will take the direction of Hamas,” assured Federal Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen. This additional aid is intended for the Gaza Strip, but also for Israel and the West Bank.

With Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116