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Israeli News: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemns Iranian attack

Israeli News: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemns Iranian attack


OTTAWA — Canada “unequivocally condemns” Iran's attacks on Israel, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday evening, as tensions escalated between the two countries and pushed the Middle East closer to a crisis. war on a regional scale.

Trudeau's statement came after Iranian state media reported that Tehran fired ballistic missiles at targets in Israel on Saturday in what was Iran's first direct military attack on the country.

“These attacks once again demonstrate the Iranian regime's contempt for peace and stability in the region. We support Israel's right to defend itself and its people against these attacks,” Trudeau said during a dinner in the parliamentary press gallery.

He said he received regular updates from the national security and intelligence adviser, the chief of the defense staff and the head of the Privy Council.

Israel also reported that Iran had fired more than 100 bomb-carrying drones in its direction.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they shot down some of the missiles en route.

Israel closed its airspace on Saturday in anticipation of Iranian attacks, and early Sunday alarm sirens and air-warning sirens sounded across the country.

Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Iran had fired dozens of drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, with the vast majority intercepted outside the borders Israelis. He said the fighter jets alone intercepted more than 10 cruise missiles, also outside Israeli airspace.

He said a handful of them managed to land in Israel.

The conflict between the two countries intensified after an airstrike blamed on Israel destroyed the Iranian consulate in Syria and killed two Iranian generals. Tehran has vowed revenge.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Friday that Canadians should avoid all travel to Israel due to the high risk.

She said Canadians who remain in Israel should leave “by commercial means.”

Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre said Saturday that Canada must work with its allies to hold Iran accountable.

“The Government of Canada must immediately ban the Tehran-controlled terrorist group, the IRGC, to protect our people and prevent the regime from using our country to raise funds, plan and coordinate,” he said in a statement written.

The federal government has come under pressure in recent months to designate the IRGC – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian military – as a terrorist organization.

NDP MP Heather McPherson, her party's foreign affairs critic, said Canadians “are concerned about the human cost of a regional war.”

“Only diplomacy will solve this problem. Canada and the international community must defuse this crisis now,” she wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

International condemnation of the Iranian escalation was swift, with the United Nations secretary-general calling for “an immediate cessation of these hostilities.”

Israel's ambassador to Canada thanked Trudeau and Joly for their words of support.

“Israel will continue to defend itself against hostile attacks from Iran and all its proxies in the region. Iran is attempting to disrupt regional stability and we thank our allies for their support as these events unfold,” it said. Iddo Moed in a press release.

Meanwhile, Air Canada announced it had canceled its Saturday flight to Tel Aviv. The airline operates four non-stop round-trip flights per week from Toronto to Tel Aviv. The next one is scheduled for Monday.

“We have also implemented a flexible rebooking policy for guests and will continue to monitor the situation in the region and adjust our schedule accordingly,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2024.

By Nicole Thompson in Toronto

With files from The Associated Press




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