Canada, Australia, New Zealand, issue joint call for 'sustainable' ceasefire in Gaza

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OTTAWA — Canada is joining Australia and New Zealand in a call to see the conflict between Israel and Hamas move toward a “sustainable ceasefire.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office published the joint statement Tuesday morning. The three leaders acknowledged recent hostage exchanges that led to the release of more than 100 hostages.

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They said they hope to see a long-term end to the violence.

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“We want to see this pause resumed and support urgent international efforts towards a sustainable ceasefire. This cannot be one-sided. Hamas must release all hostages, stop using Palestinian civilians as human shields, and lay down its arms,” reads the joint statement. “There is no role for Hamas in the future governance of Gaza.”

The call comes hours before a non-binding vote on a ceasefire at the United Nations later Tuesday.

Canada’s position puts them at odds on the issue with their closest ally, the United States. The U.S vetoed a similar motion that went to a vote in the Security Council last week.

Israel responded to the Oct. 7 attacks, which killed more than 1,200 Israelis and led to 240 being taken hostage, with multiple air assaults and a ground invasion of Gaza. That invasion has resulted in thousands of Palestinian deaths.

The joint statement stands by Israel’s right to defend itself, but says that cannot come at any cost.

“Israel must respect international humanitarian law. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected. We are alarmed at the diminishing safe space for civilians in Gaza. The price of defeating Hamas cannot be the continuous suffering of all Palestinian civilians.”

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