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Trudeau government condemns Hamas again | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Archive photo)< /p>The Canadian Press

The federal government insists Hamas must lay down its arms and surrender to Israel, after the armed militant group praised Canada for being one of the countries calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza strip.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated Thursday at a press conference in Toronto that Hamas could play no role in the future governance of Gaza or in the two-state solution in the Middle East, referring to the possible creation of a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the State of Israel.

Hamas published a video message on the Telegram platform last Monday in which one of its senior officials, Ghazi Hamad, discusses the joint statement that Mr. Trudeau and his counterparts from Australia and New Zealand had published the previous week on the conflict in the Middle East.

This December 12 statement came shortly before Canada voted in favor of #x27;a non-binding resolution at the United Nations calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas – a major departure from Canada's usual policy at the UN.

In the English-language video, Hamad mentions the statement from Canada, Australia and New Zealand after highlighting growing calls from several Western governments to end aggression against Gaza. He states that Hamas welcomes these steps in the right direction towards isolating Israel.

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He carefully avoided mentioning, however, that the three countries' joint statement also condemned Hamas' attacks on Israel on October 7, which killed some 1,200 people, including hundreds of civilians. Hamas militants also took 240 people hostage that day.

The senior Palestinian official's video message also did not mention the three prime ministers' demands for a ceasefire from Hamas.

This ceasefire cannot be unilateral, clarified the joint declaration of December 12. Hamas must release all hostages, stop using Palestinian civilians as human shields and lay down their arms. There is no role for Hamas in the future governance of Gaza.

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Palestinians seek safety after an Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

The declaration by Canada, Australia and New Zealand also recognizes that Israel has the right to exist and defend, while respecting international humanitarian law. The price to pay for defeating Hamas cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians, the prime ministers say.

More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its bombing of Gaza in response to the October 7 attacks, according to local authorities, and nearly 85 percent of the territory's 2.3 million residents were driven from their homes.

The Advisory Center for Jewish and Israeli Relations shared an excerpt from the video on Wednesday on the X platform, deploring that Hamas, a terrorist entity, listed as such by Canada, thanks, salutes and glorifies the government's new position in the war in the Middle East.

This is what happens when Hamas is not held accountable for its actions!, writes the organization , who said last week that he was disgusted by Canada's vote at the UN.

Hamas thanked the Canadian government for its support 'to isolate the fascist Israeli government globally and to end the longest occupation of our time' #x27;.

A few hours later, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, issued a statement on unequivocally condemned the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel.

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People gather to inspect the rubble of a building destroyed by Israeli bombardments in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on December 19, 2023.

Our statement was clear: for a ceasefire to be lasting, Hamas must release all hostages, stop using civilians Palestinians as human shields and lay down their weapons, wrote Minister Joly. Hamas does not represent the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Mr. Trudeau did not explain Thursday how the Palestinians would govern themselves without Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007. Instead, the prime minister reiterated Canada's condemnation of the group.

Hamas is responsible for the cold-blooded execution of more than 1,000 Israeli citizens on October 7 and has vowed to continue these attacks for a long time, a declared Mr. Trudeau. We must build a secure and free Israel alongside a secure and free Palestinian state, he recalled.

This is the work we need to do and we are absolutely committed to it. This is why we are calling for humanitarian pauses as quickly as possible and are urgently working on a ceasefire with our international partners.

Mr. Trudeau said discussions with other G7 countries, as well as those in the Middle East, are aiming for such an outcome.

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