Canada Condemns Continuing Hamas Attacks, Assists Canadians in Gaza
July 20, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), today issued the following statement:
“Canada condemns in the strongest terms Hamas’s shameful decision to continue its cowardly and indiscriminate violence that has today cost the lives of 13 soldiers. Yet another breach of a ceasefire by Hamas in Shuja’iya confirms that it has no interest in peace.
“Hamas’s continued aggression, combined with cowardly tactics that endanger civilians, has resulted in the tragic deaths of approximately another 87 Palestinians. Innocent civilians living in Gaza deserve far better than the reckless actions of this terrorist organization.
“We reiterate our support for the Government of Egypt in its efforts to attempt brokering this ceasefire. Egypt is still the best-placed country in the region to help end the current hostilities.
“Today, our consular officials, supported by members of our Standing Rapid Deployment Team, successfully assisted a second wave of 26 Canadian citizens and accompanying family members in safely travelling from Gaza to Jordan.
“Canadian consular officials in Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Amman have been working closely with our allies and partners to ensure that all necessary approvals for this operation were secured and that Canadians wishing to leave Gaza were able to do so safely.
“As the situation in Gaza continues to escalate, the ability of Canadian officials to provide consular assistance is becoming increasingly limited.”
A backgrounder on consular assistance follows.
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Backgrounder – Consular Advice for Canadians Travelling in the Gaza Strip
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) has been advising against all travel to the Gaza Strip since May 31, 2005, and on July 9, 2014, Canadians were advised to leave Gaza.
DFATD also advises against all travel to the Gaza Strip and to regions of Israel bordering Egypt, Syria and the Gaza Strip, and advises Canadians in the Gaza Strip to leave.
We strongly recommend that Canadian citizens currently in Gaza register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive the latest advice and advisories from the Government of Canada as well as direct communications offering further assistance to those wishing to depart.
Canadians wishing to leave the Gaza Strip should contact DFATD’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre by phone, collect, at 1-613-996-8885 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian citizens in Gaza requiring consular assistance should contact the Representative Office of Canada to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah at 972 (2) 297-8430 or contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre by phone, collect, at 1-613-996-8885 or by email at email@example.com.
For the latest advice and to obtain more information from the Government of Canada, Canadians should consult the travel advice and advisories for Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Twitter users may also follow @DFATDCanada and @CanEmbIsrael.
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