Tit-for-tat attacks between Israel and Hamas continue with deadly bombardments as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for a ceasefire to stop violence at a news conference in Ottawa on May 18.
“Our hearts go out to Israelis, Palestinians, for the violence that is surrounding them right now. We’ve all seen the tragic images, families, innocents, kids affected. It needs to stop,” he said.
“That’s why Canada is calling for a cease-fire,” Trudeau said.
He said Ottawa will work with the international community to ensure peace in the region.
“We will work with the international community to de-escalate the situation and to move forward so there is no more loss of civilian life,” Trudeau said.
The toll on civilians is also growing. The United Nations announced 52,000 Palestinians have been displaced by Israeli airstrikes and it sent a small fuel convoy into the field on May 17. The UN aid agency also said around 450 buildings in Gaza have destroyed or badly damaged.
The UN General Assembly will meet to discuss the violence in the region on May 20.
Gaza’s health ministry announced the Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 213 Palestinians, including 61 children, and wounded about 1,500 Palestinians. Israel said rocket attacks killed 12 Israelis, including two children, and at least 300 have been wounded.
Palestinians in Israel held a general strike on May 18 to protest the Gaza war and Israeli policies on Palestinians who live in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, Arab towns within Israel and in cities in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.