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Trudeau downplays Liberal division on Israel and NDP wants more firmness

Photo: John Woods The Canadian Press The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau

The Canadian Press in Ottawa

February 15, 2024

  • Canada

Justin Trudeau says the diversity of opinion within his caucus is a strength, as questions persist about the division within the Liberals over the Canadian government's policy on the war between Israel and the Hamas.

The prime minister says world leaders are currently discussing how to respond if Israel were to launch a major offensive in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, where most of the population has found refuge.

The planned offensive in the city of Rafah was discussed Thursday in a conversation between Prime Minister Trudeau and a member of the Israeli war cabinet.

A report of Mr. Trudeau's call with Minister Benny Gantz indicates that the Prime Minister expressed concerns about the “serious humanitarian consequences” it would cause for all civilians who took refuge in the region.

In a joint statement Wednesday evening with the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand, Mr. Trudeau said an Israeli military operation in Rafah would be “catastrophic.”

The three leaders say Israel should not “go down this path” and should instead “listen to its friends and the international community.”

Also read

  • Trudeau warns Israel that military offensive in Rafah would be “catastrophic”

This message constitutes the strongest speech ever delivered by Canada on Israel's conduct in the Gaza Strip, more than four months after the start of its war with Hamas.

But NDP MPs declared Thursday on Parliament Hill that this position was still too “watered down” and that Canada was making itself “potentially complicit in genocide” if it did not adopt not a firmer tone towards Israel.

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