Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay issued this statement today in response to today’s civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip:
?Canada is concerned by the escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and the civilian casualties resulting from the latest Israeli military operation. We offer our heartfelt sympathies to the victims and their families. We urge all sides to act with restraint and to take all measures possible to protect civilians and reduce tensions.
The Palestinian Authority must take concrete measures to eliminate attacks against Israel. The statement by a leading Hamas official encouraging attacks against Israel is disturbing, and once again demonstrates the incompatibility of terrorism and democratic principles.
We also understand and recognize Israel?s right to protect its citizens. However, Israel must assume its responsibility to exercise the utmost caution to prevent civilian casualties. We welcome Israel?s decision to investigate the shelling.?