Canada, Australia and New Zealand issue warning to Israel over Rafah offensive in Gaza News
Justin Trudeau, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Canada, Australia and New Zealand issue warning to Israel over Rafah offensive in Gaza

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, alongside the leaders of Australia and New Zealand, delivered a warning to Israel in a joint statement concerning its reported plans for a military operation in Rafah, a densely populated area within the Gaza Strip.

The joint statement expressed grave concern over indications of Israel’s intent to launch a ground offensive into Rafah, emphasizing the potentially catastrophic consequences of such action. With an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians, including citizens of the issuing countries and their families, seeking refuge in the region, the statement underscored the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and raised concern of further devastation should military operations escalate.

The joint statement also referenced recent interim orders issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which called upon Israel to protect civilians and ensure the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance. The statement reiterated the commitment of Canada, Australia and New Zealand to a two-state solution and emphasized the need for a negotiated political settlement to achieve lasting peace and security in the region.

Trudeau’s joint statement comes in the wake of a new report from the Maple alleging that the Canadian government authorized $28.5 million in new military exports to Israel since the October 7 attacks in violation of Canada’s own domestic arms control laws as well as in violation of international law, both of which prohibits a country from selling arms to any nation that is likely to use those arms to engage in human rights violations.

On Wednesday, during Question Period in the House of Commons, Trudeau was met with heckles from members of the public seated at the gallery calling for his government to “stop arming Israel.”

Trudeau has also come under scrutiny for cutting off aid to UNRWA—the United Nations relief organization for Palestinian refugees. This decision came amidst allegations from Israeli officials that a dozen UNRWA employees were affiliated with Hamas and tunnels were allegedly found by Israel under UNRWA’s offices.