Minister Baird Statement on Participation in Gaza Flotilla

(No. 327 - November 2, 2011 - 8:45 p.m. ET) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement with the hope of dissuading Canadians from participating in a flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip:

“I strongly urge those wishing to deliver humanitarian goods to the Gaza Strip to do so through established channels. Unauthorized efforts to deliver aid are provocative and, ultimately, unhelpful to the people of Gaza.

“Canada recognizes Israel’s legitimate security concerns and its right to protect itself and its residents from attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including by preventing the smuggling of weapons.

“Canada recognizes that there are legitimate and constructive ways to help the people of Gaza. One way is to donate to the International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent. The organization has people on the ground in Gaza to help deliver, among other things, clean water and health care."

For travel advice, see Important Consular Information for Canadians.

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