Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Saturday confirmed a fourth Canadian death from last week’s attack by Hamas on Israel, and said she was striving to evacuate citizens from Gaza and the West Bank.
The family of 22-year-old Shir Georgy, who went missing after Hamas militants attacked a music festival near Kibbutz Re’im last Saturday, confirmed her death on Instagram, the Canadian Broadcast Corp reported earlier.
“It is with great sadness and a broken heart that we announce the murder of our beloved Shir,” Georgy’s aunt Michal Bouganim said on Instagram.
Joly said that brings the death toll to four Canadians, with three still missing. She added that she is working on getting Canadians out of Gaza through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, and out of the West Bank by bus into Jordan.
“Canada has an agreement with Israel to get Canadians out of Gaza,” Joly told reporters in a phone call from Jordan. “Things are very volatile, obviously, in Gaza, where it is one of the worst places on earth right now to be living in.”
Thousands of Palestinians fled the north of the Gaza Strip on Saturday from the path of an expected Israeli ground assault.
Israel has vowed to annihilate the Hamas militant group that controls Gaza in retaliation for a rampage a week ago by fighters who stormed through Israeli towns, gunning down civilians and making off with scores of hostages. Some 1,300 people were killed in the worst attack on civilians in Israel’s history.
Canada had hoped to evacuate about 40 families, or 160 people, on Saturday, but Joly said the crossing had been shut due to violence. She said she would be speaking to her Egyptian counterpart later about getting the families out.
Canada also has an agreement with Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan to bus between 80-100 citizens out of the West Bank from Ramallah to Amman, Jordan, next week, Joly said.