Canada is concerned about what will happen next in the Gaza Strip, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said on Wednesday, speaking after massive Israeli bombing ahead of a potential ground assault against Hamas.
Joly also told a press conference that three Canadians had died in Israel in the wake of an attack by Hamas over the weekend and Ottawa has reports that three more are missing.
Joly said Canada unequivocally condemned the Hamas assault, in which at least 1,200 people died. Retaliatory strikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip enclave have killed 1,055 people and wounded 5,184, Palestinian officials say.
“The humanitarian situation in Gaza was dire before this weekend, and this will only deteriorate the situation further,” Joly said.
“My heart breaks for the deaths we have seen. And I share the anxiety about what will happen next.”
Canada is urging all parties to respect international humanitarian law and grant access and will continue to support the humanitarian needs of Palestinian civilians, Joly said.
More than 4,700 Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank had registered with Ottawa. Joly did not immediately say how many wanted to be evacuated.
Canada said on Tuesday that it would start flying out citizens and permanent residents in the days to come. Joly said that military planes would transport evacuees from Tel Aviv to Athens as a first step.