By Laura Osman, The Canadian Press on December 21, 2023.
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government will announce new measures today to bring family members of Canadians trapped in the besieged Gaza Strip to safety.
Gaza became a battlefield after Hamas launched an attack on Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 Israeli civilians and military members.
The retaliatory siege, bombardments and ground attacks have left 19,600 civilians and combatants in Gaza dead.
Canadians with extended family members in the war zone, including parents, grandchildren and siblings, have been pleading with the government to help their loved ones.
When asked why it has taken the government so long to offer protection to Canadians’ extended families, Trudeau called the situation “extremely difficult.”
He says Canada has worked hard to get more than 600 Canadians, permanent residents, and their spouses and children out of Gaza, but there is much more to do.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2023.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version reported that Hamas launched an attack on Israel on Oct. 17. In fact, the attack occurred on Oct. 7.