February 25th, 2024

Trudeau mulls sanctioning Israeli settlers, ‘seized’ with case of missing Canadian

By The Canadian Press on February 2, 2024.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to local entrepreneurs in Kitchener, Ont. on Friday, February 2, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nick Iwanyshyn

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is looking into sanctions against Israeli settlers in the West Bank who have been accused of attacking Palestinians and Israeli peace activists in the territory.

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department issued financial sanctions against Israelis living in illegal settlements who Washington says are connected to “escalating violence” against Palestinians.

Ottawa has not followed the U.S. in issuing travel bans on those responsible for what Trudeau calls “extremist settler violence,” saying those who commit certain crimes are already supposed to be barred from entering the country.

Speaking to reporters in Waterloo, Ont., Trudeau gave no update on the case of Mansour Shouman, a Canadian citizen in Gaza who was documenting humanitarian efforts amid the raging Israel-Hamas war.

Shouman’s contacts overseas say they lost touch with him roughly two weeks ago, and claim that eyewitnesses saw Israeli military officials take him away.

Trudeau would not say whether he has spoken about the case with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but says officials are “seized” by the case and working with “all partners” to figure out what happened, including the Israeli government.

The Israeli embassy in Ottawa did not responded to requests for comment about Shouman on Thursday and Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2024.

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