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Canada's Trudeau calls for inquiry into Gaza massacre

The Canadian prime minister called for an investigation into the killings [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 May, 2018

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Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for an 'independent investigation' into the killing of 61 Palestinians by the Israeli army during Monday's Gaza protests.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday called for an "independent investigation" into the killing of 61 unarmed Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border last Monday.

"Canada calls for an immediate independent investigation to thoroughly examine the facts on the ground - including any incitement, violence, and the excessive use of force," Trudeau said.

"Reported use of excessive force and live ammunition is inexcusable. It is imperative we establish the facts of what is happening in Gaza."

Bloodbath

Monday's violence against Palestinian protesters coincided with the controversial inauguration of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, which broke with decades of international consensus that recognises Tel Aviv as Israel's capital. 

Israel justified the killings by citing the need to defend its borders with Gaza, where tens of thousands of Palestinians had gathered to protest.

Trudeau said an independent probe into the killings should be opened up and offered Canadian assistance to help in an investigation.

He also vowed to work with partners and multilateral institutions "to address this serious situation" in Gaza.

The prime minister also said he is "appalled" to learn that a Canadian doctor, Tarek Loubani, was among at least 2,400 unarmed protestors, media, first responders and children wounded by Israeli live fire and tear gas. 

"We are doing everything we can to assist Dr Loubani and his family, and to determine how a Canadian citizen came to be injured," he said.

"We are engaging with Israeli officials to get to the bottom of these events."

Canada has been a longstanding ally and supporter of Israel, but the Trudeau administration has been more critical of some of its policies regarding settlements and refugees than the previous Conservative government.

Reported use of excessive force and live ammunition is inexcusable. It is imperative we establish the facts of what is happening in Gaza.
- Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau 


The opposition Conservatives said in February that they would recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital if they win power in the next election in 2019.

More than a hundred Palestinians have been killed in seven weeks of protests, mainly from Israeli sniper fire.

Some 10,000 Palestinians have also been injured since protests began on 30 March, with at least 400 children shot by live fire.

Weapons' export licenses

Meanwhile, UK-based human rights group Save the Children on Wednesday urged the London government to review the country's arms sales to Israel following the massacre in the Gaza Strip.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was requested to launch a review of all weapons export licenses to Israel to ensure no British weapons were being used against Palestinian children.

Save the Children called on Johnson to summon Israeli ambassador Mark Regev to urge greater restraint and condemn the use of live ammunition against minors.

The group also backed UN calls for an independent investigation into the violence.

"Our teams on the ground are deeply concerned about the physical and psychological impact of the current violence. 15 children have already been killed and over 1,000 injured," Graham said.

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