February 26th, 2024

Liberals echo Hamas condemnation after militant leader hails Canada ceasefire stance

By The Canadian Press on December 21, 2023.

Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas' decision-making political bureau, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. In a video this week, Hamad thanked Canada, Australia and New Zealand for asking Israel to end its bombardment of Gaza, without mentioning that it called for Hamas to stop using Palestinians as human shields. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Bilal Hussein

OTTAWA – The Liberals are stressing that Hamas needs to surrender to Israel, after the militant group praised Ottawa for calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the group can no longer have a role in governing Gaza or in creating a Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel.

This week, Hamas released a video message from one of its top officials, Ghazi Hamad, who thanked Canada, Australia and New Zealand for a statement that called on Israel to end its bombardment of Gaza.

Hamad did not mention that the statement also demanded that his group surrender, release all hostages and stop using Palestinians as human shields.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs says the video is the result of a “failure to hold Hamas accountable,” and notes that Ottawa deems the group to be a terrorist organization.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly released a statement late Wednesday on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter, noting that the three-country statement had condemned Hamas’s brazen attack on Israel.

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

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