Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined calls for an independent investigation into the shootings by Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border during Monday’s mass protests. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

‘Appalled’ Trudeau calls for investigation of Canadian doctor in Gaza

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau added his voice Wednesday to the calls for an independent investigation into the shootings by Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border that killed 59 Palestinians and wounded hundreds more during Monday’s mass protests.

The prime minister said he was appalled by the shooting of a Canadian doctor who was trying to help wounded protesters in Gaza on Monday.

In a statement, Trudeau described the reported use of excessive force and live ammunition as “inexcusable.”

“We are appalled that Dr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian citizen, is among the wounded — along with so many unarmed people, including civilians, members of the media, first responders, and children,” he said.

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

Loubani, an emergency physician at Ontario’s London Health Sciences Centre and at Shifa Hospital in Gaza, says he was shot in both legs Monday even though his team wore high-visibility jackets that identified them as medical staff.

The Israeli embassy in Ottawa did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Trudeau called for a thorough examination of the possible use of both excessive force and the incitement to violence.

“It is imperative we establish the facts of what is happening in Gaza,” he said.

Germany, Belgium and Ireland and several UN Security Council members have also called for an investigation into Monday’s carnage. But the council has taken no action because the United States, a permanent member, says Israel acted with “restraint.”

Monday’s violence erupted as the Trump administration followed through on its campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Canada and its other major allies do not support the embassy move. The government says the future of the Jerusalem needs to be part of a broader negotiated settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians — a process going nowhere at the moment.

Monday was Gaza’s deadliest day in four years, as the violence escalated while the U.S. formally opened its controversial new embassy in Jerusalem several dozen kilometres away.

Israel and the U.S. blame the militant group Hamas for endangering civilians in Gaza by inciting them to protest. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland in a Monday Twitter message said: “It is inexcusable that civilians, journalists + children have been victims. All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to ensure civilians are protected.”

Since March 30, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed and 2,500 injured in protests at the border fence.

The Canadian spokeswoman for the United Nations Children’s Fund in Gaza told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that it has confirmed that six Palestinian boys and one Palestinian girl among those killed in Monday’s shootings.

They are among the 13 children who have been killed and the 1,000 injured since March 30, Genevieve Boutin, UNICEF’s special representative said in a telephone interview from East Jerusalem.

Boutin said there is no legal justification for anyone to shoot at children under any circumstance.

“According to international law, a child is a child, first of all, no matter what brought them there,” said Boutin.

“At this point, the United Nations has been clear — many journalists have observed this — they’re largely unarmed and they’re quite far away from the soldiers. So for us, they’re all child deaths that should have been avoided.”

Asked whether an investigation was warranted, Boutin replied: “We all work for the secretary general, so we would echo his call for an independent investigation.”

Just Posted

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Small group rallies with pro-immigration message

Group wanted to counter misinformation on United Nations migration agreement

Trump says ‘things are going very well’ with North Korea

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very… Continue reading

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Kriechmayr edges Swiss favourite Feuz to win WCup downhill

WENGEN, Switzerland — It takes a special run to beat Switzerland’s best… Continue reading

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Most Read