An elderly Palestinian man is helped after being shot by Israeli troops during a deadly protest on the border between Gaza and Israel on May 14, 2018. (Khalil Hamra/AP Photo)

Trudeau condemns Israel’s ‘excessive force’ against Palestinian civilians

Canada’s prime minister is calling for an independent investigation of the violence in Gaza after Israeli soldiers shot and killed at least 60 Palestinians, and over 2,700 were injured. Thousands of Palestinians had gathered at the border between Israel and Gaza to protest the inauguration of the U.S. embassy just relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem claimed their capital  by both Israelis and Palestinians

Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capitals, with Palestinians hoping to make East Jerusalem the capital of an eventual Palestinian state. On the day of the inauguration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed Jerusalem the de facto and united capital of Israel. After violence broke out on May 14, 2018, Canada’s foreign affairs minister quickly tweeted: “Deeply concerned” by the violence in the Gaza Strip. 

In a carefully worded statement on May 16, Justin Trudeau said: “Reported use of excessive force and live ammunition is inexcusable. 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,” Trudeau said.

Dr. Tarek Loubani, in blue scrubs, was one of several medical volunteers who were shot while attending injured protesters. One died. (Tarek Loubani/Twitter)

Trudeau ‘appalled’ a Canadian doctor was wounded

Trudeau also demanded Israel’s leaders explain how a Canadian doctor was shot.

“Canada deplores and is gravely concerned by the violence in the Gaza Strip that has led to a tragic loss of life and injured countless people. 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 doing everything we can to assist Dr. Loubani and his family, and to determine how a Canadian citizen came to be injured. We are engaging with Israeli officials to get to the bottom of these events.”

Trudeau renewed calls for negotiations on two-state solution.

Several countries call for investigation

Loubani was one of 19 medical personnel who were shot as they assisted the wounded. One medic died. Israel had deployed two brigades and more than 100 snipers. Israeli spokesmen said the action was necessary to defend its border from terrorists.

The governments of Germany, Belgium and Ireland as well as several UN Security Council members are also calling for an investigation into the carnage. The council will not act though because the U.S. refused saying Israel acted “with restraint.”

Trudeau’s action criticized

Several pro-Israeli groups and supporters have condemned Trudeau’s action, saying it is one-sided and ignores the provocation of Hamas.

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