Escalating Tensions: Gaza Conflict Intensifies Amidst International Diplomatic Efforts

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The fighting, so far missile and rocket fire exchanges is in the tiny Gaza Strip

In the latest update from Israel, the military has confirmed a significant operation targeting Hamas in Gaza. There have been at least 2300 people killed in the war so far.

Canada has listed Hamas as a terrorist organization since 2002.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs states: “Hamas, the Arabic acronym for the group Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamiya, is a radical Islamist-nationalist terrorist organization that emerged from the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1987. It uses political and violent means to pursue its goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in Israel. Since 1990, Hamas has been responsible for terrorist attacks against both civilian and military targets. Hamas has been one of the primary groups involved in suicide bombings aimed at Israelis since the start of the Al-Aqsa intifada in September 2000.

“In 2006, Hamas participated in and won Palestinian parliamentary elections, leading to negotiations between the group and the Palestinian Authority over the establishment of a unity government. In 2007, however, Hamas overthrew the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip and seized power of the coastal territory. Although the group’s political leadership resides in Damascus, Hamas uses the Gaza Strip as a base for terrorist operations aimed against Israel”.

NetNewsLedger: Gaza Conflict Update 

  • Israeli Military Conducts Large-Scale Strike: Israel launches a significant operation targeting Hamas in Gaza without disclosing specific details of the attack.
  • Total Siege on Gaza: Israel imposes a total siege on Gaza, blocking food and fuel supplies to the enclave’s 2.3 million residents, many of whom rely on aid. Electricity supply is disrupted after the power station ceases operation.
  • Hezbollah Rocket Attack: Israeli shelling hits southern Lebanese towns in response to a new rocket attack by Hezbollah.
  • Global Repatriation Efforts: Governments worldwide organize repatriation flights from Tel Aviv as the conflict intensifies.
  • Hostage Threats by Hamas: Hamas fighters, holding Israeli soldiers and civilians hostage, threaten to execute captives in retaliation for each Gaza home hit without warning. No immediate indication of carrying out the threat.
  • Al-Qassam Brigades’ Video Release: Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades release a video depicting the apparent release of a female hostage and two children.
  • British Foreign Secretary’s Close Call: British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly captured on video running into a building in Israel during a siren, indicating the intensity of the situation.
  • Potential Ground Offensive: Defence Minister Yoav Gallant hints at an upcoming ground offensive in Gaza, stating, “We started the offensive from the air, later on we will also come from the ground,” to Israeli soldiers.

The military, however, remained tight-lipped about the specifics of the strike, coinciding with the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is set to meet with leaders from both sides of the conflict.

Israeli jets have relentlessly pounded targets in Gaza over the past few days in response to a daring attack by Hamas militants. These militants breached the border fence, unleashing chaos in towns and villages. The Israeli military disclosed that this incursion led to a tragic toll of 1,300 lives lost, with over 2,700 individuals injured. Additionally, numerous hostages were taken.

Eyewitness accounts describe Israeli aircraft heavily bombarding Palestinian territory, with reports of an airstrike on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. The casualty count in Gaza has surged to 1,200, and approximately 5,600 people have been reported injured, as per Palestinian media citing information from Gaza’s health ministry.

Against this grim backdrop, Secretary Blinken has arrived in Israel, emphasizing Washington’s unwavering support. His objectives include securing the release of captives, including Americans, and averting the escalation of a broader conflict. Blinken’s itinerary also includes a visit to Jordan. Notably, he will not venture into the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where he traditionally meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. However, there are reports indicating a scheduled meeting between Blinken and Abbas on Friday.

Canadian Conservatives Call for Action to Protect Jewish People in Canada

Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition, and Melissa Lantsman, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, released the following statement calling for Minister LeBlanc to put in place security measures and protect Jewish people in Canada.

“On October 10th, in the wake of the horrific invasion and terrorist attacks committed by Hamas in Israel, a high-ranking Hamas leader issued a televised statement making an explicit call for action across the world calling for mobilization in support of these vicious acts of terrorism. This statement has circulated widely online and is garnering millions of views across social media platforms.

“The overwhelming majority of Canadians are disgusted by Hamas’ barbaric attacks and want no part in their vile ideology. But in a time when Jewish communities are already struggling to deal with the horrific events in Israel, there is a heightened level of anxiety about the potential of threats and violence directed towards Jewish institutions in Canada.

“Given the dangerous and violent rhetoric from Hamas terrorists that have already inspired large protests in support of their evil acts, it is vital that all levels of government ensure adequate security and protective measures are in place to protect Jewish schools, synagogues, and cultural centres across the country. The Government of Canada must play the central role.”

Red Cross Calls for Donations for Middle East

The Canadian Red Cross has launched an appeal for the Middle East Humanitarian Crisis to provide humanitarian assistance to people impacted by escalating conflict in the region.

The Canadian Red Cross is supporting the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement efforts to alleviate suffering and provide humanitarian assistance for people affected by the ongoing and escalating October 2023 crisis in the Middle East. Support will be used for lifesaving interventions, ongoing relief efforts, and other critical humanitarian activities as needs arise. All humanitarian efforts of the Red Cross Red Crescent are guided by our seven fundamental principles including humanity, neutrality, and impartiality.

Canadians wishing to make a donation to the Middle East Humanitarian Crisis appeal can do so online at redcross.ca or by calling 1-800-418-1111.

Getting Canadians Out of Danger Zone

Michael Chong, Conservative Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement on the consular and diplomatic failures of the Government of Canada relating to the ongoing situation following this weekend’s terrorist attacks in Israel:

“More than 72 hours after the horrific invasion and terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel, the Government of Canada is still failing to provide timely assistance to Canadians seeking help to leave the country.

“Despite Minister Joly’s public assurances, MPs are hearing too many stories from Canadians who are desperately reaching out to the Government for assistance but having their calls and emails for help left unanswered or unresolved.

“It is the duty of any government to provide assistance to citizens trying to leave a conflict zone. The Prime Minister and his Government are failing at this basic task.

“Other countries like Mexico, Brazil and Poland have sent aircraft to evacuate their citizens that want to leave. Canada has not. The Government has failed to learn the lesson from the fall of Kabul in August 2021, and its inability to provide assistance to Canadians fleeing war zones is part of a concerning pattern.

“What is also concerning is the Government of Canada’s clear failure to properly coordinate with our closest allies during this crisis. Yesterday, the five other NATO members of the G7 issued a joint statement, pledging support for Israel to defend itself and condemning Hamas’ terrorism. Canada was excluded from the statement. The Government should have ensured Canada was part of this effort.

“This too, reflects a pattern under this Government. Canada is increasingly left out of critical defence and security initiatives with our closest allies. One has to conclude that this Government is seen to be an increasingly unreliable partner.

“The Prime Minister must take action to immediately correct these failures. He must immediately order the dispatch of aircraft to evacuate Canadians wanting to leave Israel and he must declare Canada’s support for the joint statement from our allies yesterday.

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