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Canada

Trudeau ‘in no way’ supports Israeli offensive in Rafah, but is mum on taking action

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is “horrified” by Israeli strikes that killed civilians in Rafah earlier this week, but walked away from reporters when asked what he will do about it.

His comment comes two days after gruesome images emerged of children injured in airstrikes and fires burning among encampments of displaced people in Rafah.

Trudeau says Canada “in no way” supports the attacks on Rafah, which had become a safe haven for more than a million Palestinians fleeing Israeli attacks elsewhere in the Gaza Strip.

Canada supported Israel’s right to defend itself following the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, but Trudeau says Canada urged Israel not to proceed with an offensive in the southern city.

Israel says Rafah has become a Hamas stronghold and is crucial to routing the militant group that killed 1,200 people in Israel last October, and it described Sunday’s carnage as a mistake.

Humanitarian groups including the Mennonite Central Committee say the area is far too crowded for any safe military operation, pointing to the scenes that occurred Sunday.

“Canada in no way supports the military operations by Israel in Rafah. Indeed, we have been calling for a ceasefire, including at the United Nations, since December, and we’ll continue to,” Trudeau told reporters Tuesday on Parliament Hill.

“We need to see much more humanitarian aid flow into Gaza, and we need to see all hostages released.”

But when pressed for information on what Canada might do, he walked away from the scrum.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza reports 36,000 people have been killed in the war, including combatants.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2024.

The Canadian Press


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