In a shift of politics from and Israel supporter to an Israel critic, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Israel this Thursday to stop “killing babies, “in Gaza.
The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Israel this Thursday to stop what he described as “killing babies” in Gaza. In his sharpest U-turn in rhetoric regarding the Israel-Hamas war, Trudeau said during a news conference in the western province of British Columbia that “I urge the government of Israel to exercise maximum restraint. The world is watching, on TV, on social media – we’re hearing the testimonies of doctors, family members, survivors, kids who have lost their parents. The world is witnessing this killing of women, of children, of babies. This has to stop.”
The Canadian Prime Minister also expressed growing concern over the increasing death toll of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip due to Israeli air and ground attacks in the area. As of this Friday, more than 11,200 Palestinians have been killed by Israel since the conflict started back on October 7.
“The price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians,” Trudeau said, adding that “all wars have rules. All innocent life has equal worth. Israeli and Palestinian.”
Furious at Trudeau remarks, Netanyahu responded
Trudeau’s pro-Palestinian remarks angered Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, making him to react. In a post on Twitter this Thursday evening, Netanyahu directed at Trudeau and said that what is happening in Gaza is not Israel’s fault. “It is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust,” Netanyahu said, adding that “the forces of civilization must back Israel in defeating Hamas barbarism.”
In another tweet, Netanyahu further noted that “Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way,” even as his army relentlessly bombards Gaza.
Also last week, Trudeau called for a significant humanitarian pause in the conflict to allow for the release of all hostages and the delivery of enough aid to address civilian needs in Gaza.
Canada’s new stance, a shock for Israel
Canada’s new approach in regard to Israel-Hamas war has worried Israel because before Trudeau’s words Thursday, the Western country has been a tough Israeli supporter in the war. In the controversial attack to Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza on October 17, which caused the death of hundreds of Palestinian patients, Canada was among the few countries who categorically denied any involvement by Israel.
Canada has a “high degree of confidence” that Israel was not responsible for the deadly explosion at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza, its defense department said a day after the deadly attack. The Canadian Forces Intelligence Command also issued a statement, claiming that the blast “was more likely caused by an errant rocket fired from Gaza after an analysis using open source and classified information.”
Canada was also among only a handful of states that rejected the UN General Assembly resolution, calling on Israel to stop impeding the work of the UN agency that conducts humanitarian efforts for Palestinians during the Gaza war.
According to a UN report on the Fourth Committee meeting, “the Canadian delegation explained its position on the resolutions by reaffirming Israel’s right to defend itself and arguing that there are too many resolutions related to the Arab-Israeli conflict which single out Israel, adding that Canada will continue to vote “no” on texts that “do not address the complexity of issues.”