Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on Hamas to immediately release its hostages, which may include at least three Canadians.
Today marks the first time Trudeau spoke in Parliament since fighters stormed into Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, killing hundreds of people and taking a reported 199 people hostage.
Speaking in French, Trudeau says three Canadians have been reported missing and may be among those held captive by Hamas, which Canada has listed as a terrorist group.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly confirmed the first group of Canadians have crossed safely from the West Bank into neighbouring Jordan as the violence continues.
The federal government says 21 Canadians, plus 10 people from Australia and New Zealand, took a bus out of the West Bank, a Palestinian territory that Israel has occupied since 1967 and where it has established numerous settlements.
Officials say as many as 300 Canadians and their families are looking for a way to escape Gaza, which Israel has blockaded and cut access to electricity, food, water and humanitarian aide.
Happening now: I’m delivering remarks in the House of Commons, and giving Members of Parliament – and Canadians – an update on the ongoing situation in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. Tune in here: https://t.co/FTbK4hShaV
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 16, 2023
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2023.