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An Israeli operation in Rafah would be “unacceptable”, says Mélanie Joly | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Palestinian children injured in an Israeli strike receive treatment at a hospital in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.


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Canada is opposed to any Israeli military operation in the city of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have found refuge, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said on Monday.

I am extremely concerned about what is happening in Rafah, said Minister Joly, while bombings by the Israeli army left around a hundred dead in this town located in the south of the strip. from Gaza, not far from the Egyptian border.

The ongoing Israeli operation is devastating for the displaced Palestinians and all those who have found refuge there, including foreign nationals and Canadians, she told reporters in Ottawa. These are mothers, children, […] these are human beings who exist.

According to the UN, 1.4 million Palestinians who have fled the war that has raged for more than four months between Israel and the Palestinian movement Hamas are massed in Rafah.

Benyamin Netanyahu's government is asking these people to move again and it is unacceptable because they have nowhere to go.

A quote from Mélanie Joly, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Ms Joly, who is traveling to Washington to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday, reiterated her call for a lasting ceasefire, as well as for the release of Israeli hostages and the 'delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

Ms. Joly will also meet her Jordanian counterpart in Washington to prepare for the visit of King Abdullah II of Jordan to Ottawa next week.

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Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly

The war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip was sparked on October 7 when commandos from the Palestinian Islamist movement carried out an attack in southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to official Israeli data.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to destroy Hamas and launched an offensive that left at least 28,340 dead in the Palestinian territory, the vast majority of them are women, children and adolescents, according to the latest report from the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Israel estimates that around 130 hostages are still being held in Gaza, 29 of whom are believed to have died, out of around 250 people kidnapped in Israel on October 7.

On Monday, Mr. Netanyahu reiterated his determination to continue military pressure until complete victory over Hamas, of which Rafah is the last bastion, to free all our hostages.

Faced with international criticism, the Israeli Prime Minister said on Sunday that Israel would provide safe passage for the population to leave Rafah, without specifying where they could go.

They are going to evacuate the Palestinians. Or? On the moon? asked the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell in Brussels.

The UN will not associate itself with a forced displacement of the population in Rafah, for his part warned the spokesperson for the secretary general of the organization.

The perspective of “an offensive is terrifying,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, while the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan said he was deeply concerned about the fate of civilians.

With information from Agence France-Presse

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