Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, speaks during a meeting. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Saul Loeb

Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, speaks during a meeting. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Saul Loeb

Canada welcomes ceasefire ending 11-day war in Gaza, Israel that killed hundreds

At least 230 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children and 39 women, with 1,710 people wounded

Canada welcomes a ceasefire ending the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas that left hundreds of people dead, Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau says.

In a statement posted on his Twitter account Thursday night, Garneau said Ottawa urges Israelis and Palestinians to bring down the temperature.

“We are appalled by the tragic loss of life and urge all sides to further de-escalate tensions,” he said.

Garneau said Canada is calling on Israelis and Palestinians for a renewed commitment to peace and is standing ready to support efforts toward a two-state solution.

The truce took effect at 2 a.m. local time Friday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said his Security Cabinet had unanimously accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal.

At least 230 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children and 39 women, with 1,710 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Twelve people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl, were killed.

Aiman Shakra, president of the Palestinian Canadian Congress, which is a national umbrella organization for Palestinian-Canadian groups, said the ceasefire is a relief for the community in Canada.

“We are relieved but we stay cautious to say (the truce) would hold and lead to recognition of the Palestinians’ rights to offer them safety and justice,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Shakra said his organization has sent letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Garneau and opposition leaders to express the disappointment and dissatisfaction with the federal government’s policies and explain how Canada has failed to protect the human rights of Palestinians.

“The government says it supports a two-state solution,” he said, “yet the government’s action, even statements, try to give full support to the Israeli government.”

Shimon Koffler Fogel, the president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, which is a Canadian Jewish advocacy group, said his organization is relieved the missile attacks launched by Hamas have abated, and that the threat to further loss of life has greatly diminished.

“The ceasefire is an important milestone and any development that results in a suspension of hostilities has to be welcomed,” he said in a statement.

“But the situation remains fragile and sustaining relative calm will demand that all stakeholders reflect responsible and considered decisions and actions.”

Fogel said Canada must engage and encourage Palestinians to appreciate that support for Hamas translates into further suffering for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

“Like all countries committed to peace, Canada is limited to playing a supportive and perhaps facilitative role,” he said. “Only the direct parties to the conflict can move things forward.”

Thousands gathered across Canada in pro-Palestinian protests over the last two weeks. Last weekend, large demonstrations broke out in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. More rallies and vigils were held during the week.

In Toronto, a group of activists protested Friday outside the Israeli consulate and covered the building’s steps with red paint.

Rabbi David Mivasair, a member of Independent Jewish Voices, said in a news release the death and destruction inflicted by Israel in Gaza cannot be washed away.

“The ceasefire doesn’t end the injustice and oppression,” he said.

Jewish human rights organization B’nai Brith Canada called out the rise of antisemitism in the wake of recent fighting between Israel and Hamas.

The organization said the antisemitic assaults recorded so far this month easily surpasses the total of all assaults last year.

“This past week has been a shocking and harrowing experience for the Jewish community,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada in a news release.

“For the first time in their lives, many have had their sense of safety and security in Canada seriously challenged.”

The fighting between Israel and Hamas erupted on May 10, when Hamas militants in Gaza Strip fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem.

The barrage came after days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, which is built on a hilltop site sacred to Jews in the holy city.

Tensions were fuelled by a lengthy legal battle waged by Israeli settlers to take over properties and plan for the removal of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.

The competing claims to Jerusalem lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and have repeatedly triggered bouts of violence in the past.

On Friday, Palestinians rallied by the thousands in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem after the ceasefire took effect, with many viewing it as a costly but clear victory for Hamas.

Clashes broke out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police following Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Israeli police fired stun grenades and tear gas at Palestinian protesters who hurled rocks while waving Palestinian and Hamas flags. Israeli police said they arrested 16 people.

Protesters also clashed with Israeli troops in parts of the occupied West Bank, which has seen violent demonstrations in recent days linked to Jerusalem and Gaza. Thousands also took to the streets of Gaza as the ceasefire took hold at 2 a.m.

Celebrations also broke out overnight in East Jerusalem, Gaza and across the occupied West Bank. Israel captured all three territories in the 1967 war and the Palestinians want them for their future state.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Israel

Just Posted

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

This conceptual rendering shows revisions to the proposed warehouse in Sidney on land under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority. York Realty, which plans to build, then lease the building, said significant changes to the the massing and height of the building respond to community feedback. Additional feedback can be submitted until June 30. (Screencap/York Realty)
Sidney warehouse proposal lands Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce endorsement

Public has until June 30 to submit additional comments after significant modifications

COVID-19 exposures have been reported at Colquitz Middle School and Tillicum Elementary School, both on June 14. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Two Saanich schools report COVID-19 exposures

Exposures reported at Colquitz Middle School and Tillicum Elementary School

Sooke RCMP seized cocaine, ketamine, MDMA, prescription pills, $6,000 cash, a machete and pepper spray during a bust June 15. (Courtesy of Sooke RCMP)
Sooke RCMP seize drugs, machete, pepper spray

Man arrested near Evergreen Centre following drug deal

An eastern cottontail rabbit on the UVic campus. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Wild rabbits persist at the University of Victoria

Feral rabbits are still absent, but another non-native species has arrived on campus

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read