March 3rd, 2024

U.S. seeks clarity on Canadians taken in Gaza, Israel confirms it has them in custody

By Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press on February 12, 2024.

American officials say they are still trying to sort out what caused the Israeli military to detain members of a Canadian-American family in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians sit by the destruction from the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hatem Ali

OTTAWA – American officials say they are still trying to sort out what caused the Israeli military to detain members of a Canadian-American family in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s military confirmed it took at least two people into custody but would not provide an on-the-record explanation today as to why it is holding them, nor how many relatives are in custody.

Relatives say that last Thursday, Israeli forces took Ahmed Alagha and his sons Borak and Hashem from their family home in al-Muwasi, a town near Khan Younis.

The family says the father is Canadian and his sons have both Canadian and American citizenship – but relatives are decrying a lack of communication from both governments.

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller says American officials “don’t have clarity on the situation” and are seeking more information from the Israeli government.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says the case is of the utmost priority for her government and she is in touch with her counterparts.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2024.

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