Manitoba premier urges Trudeau to take in refugees from Gaza

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew writes that Canada should open its doors to 'potential refugees' from the Gaza Strip. He said Manitoba would provide them with temporary sanctuary and support, but 'not to facilitate further displacement.'

Manitoba premier urges Trudeau to take in refugees from Gaza
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang and Facebook/ Manitoba NDP
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Manitoba's newly elected premier wants Canada to take in refugees from the Gaza Strip, according to a letter penned to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Last week, Canada voted in favour of a non-binding United Nations resolution calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire," earning praise from Premier Wab Kinew. But more work remains to be done, he claims.

According to Gaza's Health Ministry, more than 18,600 have died following the Israeli military's response to the October 7 massacre of 1,200 Jews and foreign nationals.

Kinew writes that Canada should open its doors "in a way that allows these potential refugees to return to the region in the future." The letter mentioned Manitoba would provide them with temporary sanctuary and support, but "not to facilitate further displacement” of the Palestinians.

A wartime "concept paper" by the Israeli government on October 13 proposed the hypothetical transfer of 2.3 million Palestinians to Canada, Egypt and other Middle Eastern states. 

"In our assessment, fighting after the population is evacuated would lead to fewer civilian casualties compared to what could be expected if the population were to remain," the document reads.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi rejected the hypothetical, claiming a mass influx of Palestinian refugees would risk bringing militants into the country and strain relations with Israel. 

At the time, a reporter asked Immigration Minister Marc Miller if Canada would accept Palestinian refugees displaced in the Gaza Strip. He replied: "It’s hard to speculate on that, [but] we’re open to those fleeing war."

On December 12, Canada put out a "strong" and "comprehensive" statement concerning the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. 

Alongside the leaders of Australia and New Zealand, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau articulated their support "towards an enduring two-state solution." However, it also called for a "sustainable ceasefire." 

"The recent pause in hostilities allowed for the release of more than 100 hostages and supported an increase in humanitarian access to affected civilians, the statement reads. "We acknowledge the persistent diplomatic efforts of the United States, Qatar, and Egypt to broker this pause, and we regret it could not be extended."

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are currently engaged in operations in the Gaza Strip to eliminate Hamas after the terrorist group brutally murdered over 1,200 civilians, including women, children and the elderly.

At the time, Trudeau claimed he had a "long and detailed conversation" with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlining Canada's position.

This follows a heated exchange between the two heads of state last month after Netanyahu criticized Trudeau on the “heart-wrenching” tragedy that unfolded around the Al Shifa hospital.

"I have been clear that the price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians. Even wars have rules," said Trudeau, urging Israel to exercise "maximum restraint" in its operations.

"It is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust," tweeted Netanyahu. 

According to Israel, Hamas established an operational headquarters underneath the hospital, an allegation which has been supported by U.S. intelligence. Hamas and staff at the hospital have denied the claim.

"While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm's way, Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm's way," continued Netanyahu. "The forces of civilization must back Israel in defeating Hamas barbarism," he added.

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