Justin Trudeau
Justin TrudeauREUTERS/Jessica Lee

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke on Monday with Minister Benny Gantz and expressed concern over Israel's planned offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

“The Prime Minister and the Minister discussed the situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated his condemnation of Hamas and its brutal attacks against Israel. The Prime Minister and the Minister called for the immediate release of all remaining hostages held by Hamas,” said a statement from Trudeau’s office.

It added that Trudeau “shared his concern around Israel’s planned offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and the severe humanitarian implications for all civilians taking refuge in the area. He underscored the need to increase the volume of life-saving humanitarian aid for civilians and to ensure aid reaches all those in need, safely and without delay. He also stressed the need for continued support from Israel in facilitating the exit of Canadians and their families from Gaza.”

“Prime Minister Trudeau underscored the importance of renewing efforts toward a two-state solution to secure lasting peace in the region. He reiterated Canada’s support for the right of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace, dignity, and security,” the statement continued.

It concluded by saying that Trudeau and Gantz “reaffirmed the strong bond between Canada and Israel and agreed to remain in contact as the situation continues to evolve.”

Near the start of the war, Trudeau was supportive of Israel. At the time he spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said that he “unequivocally condemned Hamas’ large-scale attacks against Israel and expressed his deep condolences to Prime Minister Netanyahu for the hundreds of lives lost.”

The two spoke again at the start of November, when Trudeau “expressed Canada’s support for Israel and its right to defend itself in accordance with international law, in the face of Hamas’ brutal attacks,” said a statement from the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office.

The Canadian Prime Minister was also a signatory to a joint statement by the leaders of several countries who expressed support for Israel’s right to self-defense, while reiterating the need to protect civilians.

Later, however, Trudeau blasted Israel and said that the "killing of women, of children, of babies" in the Gaza Strip must end.