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Trudeau urges Israel to exercise ‘maximum restraint’ in Gaza – National


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on the Israeli government to exercise “maximum restraint” in its military operations in Gaza and around the territory’s largest hospital.

“The human tragedy that is unfolding in Gaza is heart-wrenching, especially the suffering we see in and around the Al-Shifa hospital. I have been clear that the price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians. Even wars have rules,” Trudeau said in Maple Ridge, B.C., Tuesday afternoon.

“All innocent life is equal in worth, Israeli and Palestinian. I urge the government of Israel to exercise maximum restraint. The world is watching on TV and social media. We’re hearing the testimonies of doctors, family members, survivors. Kids who’ve lost their parents. The world is witnessing this. The killing of women and children. Of babies. This has to stop.”

Click to play video: 'Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital no longer operational due to lack of electricity'

Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital no longer operational due to lack of electricity

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later pushed back on Trudeau’s comments in a post on X, the social media platform formally known as Twitter.

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“While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way,” Netanyahu wrote in the post.

He accused Hamas of committing “a double war crime” of “hiding behind civilians” in Gaza after targeting Israeli civilians in its initial attacks on Oct. 7.

“The forces of civilization must back Israel in defeating Hamas barbarism,” he said.

The post appeared to be the first time Netanyahu has called out a world leader directly on the platform since the Hamas attacks.

Trudeau on Tuesday also paid tribute to Vivian Silver, a Canadian-Israeli peace activist who was believed to be abducted in the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas. Her death was confirmed on Monday.

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“Vivian dedicated her life to peace, and a bright light was extinguished on Oct. 7. Her courage, commitment and compassion exemplified what it means to be a Canadian and engaged in the world in a positive way,” Trudeau said.

“She will be deeply missed. May her memory be a blessing.”

Silver is the seventh Canadian citizen confirmed to have been killed in the Hamas attacks, according to Global Affairs Canada. Another person with “deep connections to Canada” was also killed, according to the agency.

Click to play video: 'Canadian peace activist confirmed killed by Hamas'

Canadian peace activist confirmed killed by Hamas

The prime minister also condemned recent antisemitic attacks in Montreal over the last week, including two Jewish schools being shot at.

“No parent should ever have to tell their child that their school has been shot at. No rabbi should have to explain to their congregation that their synagogue was attacked. Antisemitism in any form is unacceptable,” Trudeau said.

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Trudeau added that the RCMP is collaborating with police in Montreal and Quebec, and Ottawa is prepared to contribute more resources.

Click to play video: 'School rabbi speaks out, calls for peace following shootings'

School rabbi speaks out, calls for peace following shootings

The prime minister also announced that as of Tuesday afternoon, over 350 Canadians and their family members have been able to exit Gaza. He added work continues to get the remaining Canadians out and it remains a top priority.

He said his main goal right now is on urging Canadians to come together amid a rising global tide of both antisemitism and Islamophobia.

“If we can’t figure out how to not be mad at our neighbours here in Canada, who in the world will? That’s the question we have to be asking ourselves. Not, ‘Is this magic solution or that magic solution said by a Canadian prime minister going to suddenly bring peace to the middle east overnight’,” Trudeau said.

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“No, that’s not what this is about. This is about remembering that when a kid feels scared to go to school in the morning because of their religion, because of their ethnicity, that’s not just on the government that’s on all of us.”

—With additional files from Sean Boynton

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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