July 12th, 2024

Canada has ‘high degree of confidence’ Israel didn’t strike hospital in Gaza: Blair

By The Canadian Press on October 21, 2023.

Palestinians carry an injured person on a stretcher after an airstrike in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. The Canadian government announced Saturday it will provide an additional $50 million for humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip as the region's border crossing with Egypt opened to let a trickle of desperately needed aid into the besieged Palestinian territory. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fatima Shbair

OTTAWA – Defence Minister Bill Blair says that after an independent review by the Canadian military, Ottawa has a “high degree of confidence” that Israel did not strike the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday.

A statement from Blair says Canada believes the more likely scenario is that the strike was caused by an errant rocket fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The pronouncement from Ottawa comes days after the United States said its own review found that Israel was not responsible, with President Joe Biden saying during a visit to Israel that he was confident the “other team” bore responsibility.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that his government was taking “all necessary steps” to form its own understanding of what happened.

The hospital blast on Oct. 17, which the Gaza Health Ministry said killed hundreds of people, quickly became a flashpoint in the war.

Hamas, which Canada designates as a terrorist group, quickly blamed an Israeli military airstrike for the explosion, but Israel subsequently released images that it said proved it was caused by a misfire from Gaza.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2023.

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