Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encountered strong criticism on Thursday over his earlier statement condemning the violence on the Israel-Gaza Strip border that excluded any mention of Hamas’ role in stoking Palestinian attacks.
Trudeau spoke out on Wednesday, after learning that a Canadian citizen had been shot and wounded during the two days of clashes that resulted in the deaths of 62 Palestinians — 50 of whom, according to a senior Hamas spokesman, were Hamas operatives. Declaring that Canada was “appalled that Dr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian citizen, is among the wounded,” Trudeau said that his government was “engaging with Israeli officials to get to the bottom of these events.”
But after deploring “the violence in the Gaza Strip that has led to a tragic loss of life and injured countless people,” Trudeau appeared to single out Israel for opprobrium.
“Reported use of excessive force and live ammunition is inexcusable,” the prime minister’s statement continued. “It is imperative we establish the facts of what is happening in Gaza. 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.”