June 19th, 2024

‘Humanitarian pauses’ in Israel-Hamas war don’t prevent advocacy on hostages: Gould

By The Canadian Press on October 25, 2023.

Karina Gould, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons rises during Question Period, Tuesday, September 26, 2023 in Ottawa. Gould says it doesn't need to be "one or the other" when it comes to calling for the release of hostages held by Hamas and advocating for "humanitarian pauses" in the war. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – Government House leader Karina Gould says there doesn’t need to be a choice between calling for the release of hostages held by Hamas and advocating for “humanitarian pauses” in its war with Israel.

Gould said on Parliament Hill this morning that freeing the hostages, among whom may be two people with links to Canada, remains one of the government’s “top priorities.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined other international leaders on Tuesday in saying he supports the idea of “pauses” in the Israel-Hamas conflict to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and give civilians and foreign nationals a way out.

The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry says more than 5,700 people in the Palestinian territory have been killed since the war began.

Israel retaliated with aggressive airstrikes on the densely populated territory after militants from Hamas, which Canada deems a terrorist group, stormed into Israel on Oct. 7, killing some 1,400 civilians and taking more than 200 hostages.

The Conservatives said Tuesday that they support Canada’s call for humanitarian pauses, but Tory MP Marty Morantz said today that the move should not happen until “all the hostages are released.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2023.

– With files from The Associated Press.

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