Canada PM Trudeau calls for significant humanitarian pause in Gaza

Canada PM Trudeau calls for significant humanitarian pause in Gaza

OTTAWA (Reuters): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday called for a significant humanitarian pause in the Gaza conflict to allow for the release of all hostages and the delivery of enough aid to address civilian needs.

Canada had previously called for a series of halts in the fighting to allow aid into the Palestinian enclave but had steered clear of advocating a longer pause in the fighting that has killed thousands since the Islamist group Hamas launched an attack on Israel last month.

“I don’t need to describe the horrors. This is why we are calling for a significant humanitarian pause that will allow us to release all the Jewish hostages and … continue to evacuate foreign citizens from Gaza,” Trudeau told reporters.

“This pause must allow the delivery of real and substantial aid, enough aid to relieve this abominable humanitarian crisis for people and civilians in Gaza.”

Trudeau cited a “terrifying” rise in antisemitism globally and in Canada, where he said Molotov cocktails had been thrown at synagogues. He also noted increasing Islamophobia.

“This is not who we are as Canadians. This is something that is not acceptable in Canada, period … Canadians are scared in our own streets right now,” he said.

“We must be there to understand the fear and pain that millions of Canadians are feeling.”

Trudeau also said “heavy lifting” would be needed to work on a two-state solution that would lead to a viable Palestinian state and a safe, secure, viable Israel.

The creation of an independent country for Palestinians in territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war has long been the aim of international peace efforts, but the process has been moribund for years.