Darryl Dyck The Canadian Press The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke out about the Israel-Hamas war during a press conference at a battery factory in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging the Government of Israel to exercise maximum restraint to protect civilian lives in the Middle East country's brutal conflict against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Mr. Trudeau says the world is witnessing the deaths of women, children and babies, and it must stop.
“The human tragedy unfolding in Gaza is heartbreaking, especially the suffering we see in and around al-Shifa Hospital,” he said.
Most Gaza's major hospital became a focal point of the conflict this week when Israeli ground troops surrounded the facility.
While Israel has said it is prepared to allow the evacuation of staff and patients, the Palestinians say Israeli forces have fired on evacuees and that it is too dangerous to move the most vulnerable patients. Doctors say the facility is running out of fuel and patients are starting to die.
Israel accuses Hamas of using hospitals as a shield for its fighters, alleging that Hamas has installed its main command center in and under the hospital, without providing visual evidence. Hamas and al-Shifa hospital staff deny Israeli allegations.
“I have made it clear that the price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians. Even wars have rules,” Trudeau said at an event in Vancouver on Tuesday.
Israel declared war on Hamas after its militants killed 1,200 people, including hundreds of civilians on October 7 and took about 240 people hostage.
Health officials in Hamas-controlled territory say retaliatory airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip have now killed more than 11,200 people.
Mr. Trudeau said Hamas must stop using Palestinians as human shields and release all hostages “immediately and unconditionally.” Canada has designated the group a terrorist organization for more than 20 years.
He added that the violence must urgently end “so that Palestinians can have access to life-saving medical services, food, fuel and water, so that all hostages can be released and so that that all Canadians and other nationals can leave Gaza.”
As fighting continues, fuel shortages in the Gaza Strip will likely lead to the end of UN aid to Palestinian civilians, which is of great concern to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, has confirmed that its fuel warehouse in Gaza is empty and that its relief operations will soon be halted .
Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA commissioner general, said that after weeks of warnings and rationing, the agency will soon run out of fuel.
“The depot is now empty,” Lazzarini said. It is very simple. Without fuel, the humanitarian operation in Gaza is coming to an end. Many more people will suffer and probably die. »
UNRWA provides food, shelter and other services to hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians.
A situation described as 'unacceptable
Minister Mélanie Joly described the situation as unacceptable.
In a statement Monday evening, she said civilians must be protected and enough food, fuel and water must reach Gaza for the UN's humanitarian work to continue.
Israel has refused to allow fuel deliveries to Gaza since the Hamas cross-border attack on October 7. Israel says Hamas will divert any fuel shipments for military purposes.
Palestinians trapped in Gaza struggle to survive without electricity or running water and ration food as the Israeli siege of the territory enters its second month.
Ms. Joly did not specifically name Israel in her “comments on the current situation in the Middle East” published Monday evening on X (formerly Twitter).
The Canadian government has faced increased pressure from the National Council of Canadian Muslims, refugee aid agencies, members of the opposition and municipal officials to call for a ceasefire, in order to safely evacuate civilians and transport humanitarian aid.
Ms. Joly did not mention a ceasefire in her statement Monday, and Mr. Trudeau instead called for “a lasting humanitarian pause” in the bombing.
When asked why he did not go so far as to call for a ceasefire, the Prime Minister spoke of the need to ensure the safety of Canadians in the face of the growing wave of anti-Semitism and hate incidents.
“If we can't find a way to stop being angry at our neighbors here in Canada, who in the world will? This is the question we must ask ourselves every day,” he retorted.
“It is not a question of wondering whether this or that magic solution stated by a Canadian Prime Minister will suddenly bring peace to the Middle East overnight. »
Dozens of people linked to Canada still hope to flee the Gaza Strip, where, according to the United Nations, no place is safe.
No Canadians were on the list of people eligible to be evacuated and allowed to travel through the tightly controlled Rafah border crossing into Egypt on Tuesday.
Global Affairs Canada said on Tuesday that he was in contact with 390 Canadians, permanent residents and their eligible family members in the war-torn Palestinian territory.
So far, 356 Canadians and their relatives have managed to leave the Gaza Strip , including 10 Monday.
“We are working day and night to bring to safety the Canadians still in Gaza,” said Ms. Joly.
Canada is also participating in efforts to ensure the safe return of hostages captured in last month's attack and taken to Gaza.
Julie Sunday, Canada's new top official for hostage affairs, is in Qatar participating in negotiations with partners in the Middle East, Joly said. She recently visited Israel and Egypt as part of her mission to facilitate the release of Israeli hostages.
Canadian Vivian Silver, who held dual nationality and whose thought to have been taken hostage, died in the initial attack last month.
Vivian Silver, who moved to Israel in the 1970s, was believed to still be alive and detained in Gaza. But identification of some of the more badly burned remains progressed slowly, and his family was informed of his death on Monday.
Mr. Trudeau said he met one of Vivian's sons last month and his courage, commitment and compassion exemplify what it means to be Canadian.
“Vivian dedicated her life to peace, and its bright light was extinguished on October 7,” shared Mr. Trudeau.
The Department of Foreign Affairs indicated that one Canadian remains missing.
A 19-year-old soldier who had been taken hostage was also killed, according to Hamas and Israel, making her the first of the October 7 hostages confirmed to have died in captivity.
< p>On Tuesday, the Israeli army said that Noa Marciano was considered a soldier who died in combat, without specifying the cause of death. For its part, Hamas announced that she had been killed by an Israeli strike, without providing evidence.
With information from the Associated Press