Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly Visits Israel Amid Tensions With Hamas

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly Visits Israel Amid Tensions With Hamas
Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly speaks during a news conference concerning the situation in Israel, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

As the situation in Israel intensifies amid ongoing conflict with Hamas, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Melanie Joly, has arrived in Tel Aviv, marking her presence in a region fraught with escalating tensions.

Rising Concerns for Canadian Citizens

The Canadian government is actively working to evacuate its citizens from the region in light of the heightened conflict. Officials confirmed that two flights operated by the Canadian Armed Forces successfully airlifted around 280 passengers from Israel to Athens on Thursday. Furthermore, an Air Canada flight is expected to transport Canadians from Athens to Toronto. It’s worth noting that around 5,000 people have registered with Ottawa as present in the conflict zone. While the government has information from 1,600 individuals wanting to leave the region, not all will be looking to fly out on military planes.

Palestinians evacuate wounded people after an Israeli airstrike in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, on Thursday. The Rafah crossing with Israel is the only way in or out of Gaza, and is now closed after Israeli bombardments. (Hatem Ali/The Associated Press)

Humanitarian Concerns in Gaza

The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains grim, with Minister Joly pushing for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor into the territory. Israel had previously announced intentions to put Gaza under a “complete siege”. This corridor will be crucial to deliver essential aid such as food, water, and medical supplies to the civilians trapped within Gaza’s confines.

“Canada is shocked and saddened by the events that unfolded over the last week. My thoughts are with all civilians impacted by the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, which has also taken a toll on communities at home in Canada and around the world,” stated Joly.

She emphasized the priority to “meet with partners and see first-hand the evolving situation on the ground so that Canada can provide the support most needed at this critical time.”

Canadian Leaders Rally in Solidarity with Israel Amid Pro-Palestinian Demonstrations
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a sign at a rally in support of Israel, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Canada’s Stance on the Conflict

Joly’s office reiterated Canada’s longstanding position, highlighting the nation’s support for Israel and its right to self-defense in accordance with international law. The past week’s attacks and subsequent air strikes in Gaza have resulted in the death of approximately 2,800 individuals, including three Canadians.

Upcoming Engagements

During her three-day visit, Minister Joly is scheduled to meet with foreign affairs ministers from both Israel and Jordan, reflecting Canada’s broader engagement in the region.

Senior government officials are actively exploring more departure options for Canadians, including potential ground travel across the border to Jordan.

The global community watches closely, awaiting the outcomes of these diplomatic engagements and hoping for a peaceful resolution.

More updates on this story will follow.