New Israeli ambassador on Canada's support: 'We appreciate that. We don't take it for granted'

‘We have a very pressing need to make sure that Hamas is completely eliminated immediately as fast as possible,’ Iddo Moed said

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OTTAWA — Israel’s Ambassador to Canada said Tuesday his country will eradicate Hamas and its infrastructure in Gaza to ensure the terrorist group can never again attack his country. He added that Israel appreciates Canada’s support as it fights a war against Hamas.

“Canada is very supportive. The (Canadian) prime minister made it very clear in simple terms,” Ambassador Iddo Moed said. “We appreciate that. We don’t take it for granted.”

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Moed officially took his role when he presented his credentials to the Governor General last week after arriving in Canada in August.

That was days after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,300 people and kidnapping an estimated 200 hostages.

Moed spoke to National Post Tuesday afternoon at a national conference on antisemitism in Ottawa where he was a speaker. It was just before an explosion at a hospital in Gaza, which has reportedly killed hundreds. Hamas immediately blamed it on a missile strike from Israel, however Israel has denied it and said it had evidence proving the explosion was caused by a failed missile launch from Gaza.

Moed said his country believes Palestinians in Gaza are also victims of Hamas and so Israel is doing its best to protect civilians.

“We have a very pressing need to make sure that Hamas is completely eliminated immediately as fast as possible,” Moed said. “We cannot tolerate a player such as Hamas who is out there to kill us.”

“It must also be completely and utterly destroyed and disarmed and not pose any further threat to the population of Israel,” he said. “We have to eradicate Hamas completely, immediately, now. This must stop. They are continuing to fire rockets into Israel.”

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Hamas has had near complete control over Gaza since 2006 and is the de facto government of the small area, which is home to two million people. Moed said after Israel eradicates Hamas it will be up to the Palestinians to decide who runs their territory.

“The Palestinians will have to find a way to create their own government,” he said.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other leaders pressed for a humanitarian corridor to allow civilians in Gaza to get out of the territory as the Israeli army prepares a ground invasion of Gaza. The coastal strip is currently blockaded at its borders with Israel and Egypt.

Moed said Hamas had to know Israel would forcibly respond to its brutal attack, but Hamas prepared nothing for the Palestinians in Gaza who would be caught up in the fighting.

“We’re talking about terrorists that knew what was coming. They could have anticipated this but they prepared nothing, not a drop of water, not an ounce of wheat and not a drop of fuel,” he said.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the terrorist attacks against Israel and held Hamas responsible for the war, while maintaining that the Jewish state has a right to defend itself.

Global Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly confirmed Tuesday that there are now six Canadians confirmed killed in the Hamas attacks and two are considered missing. The missing Canadians may include some of the dozens of people taken as hostages into Gaza.

Moed said he had no news to share about the fate of the hostages but said Israel knows that many of the hostages are injured, elderly and children.

“We’re talking about Holocaust survivors. We’re talking about pregnant women. We’re talking about people who have been injured and crippled by these vicious monsters of Hamas,” he said. “We are extremely concerned about their well-being and their humanitarian status.”

Since last week, Canada has been running flights out of Israel for Canadians trying to leave and has so far brought 1,300 people out of the country. It also brought a busload of people out of the West Bank into Jordan. Gaza’s borders are currently closed and the government has not been able to help Canadians there.

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Julie Sunday, an assistant deputy minister at Global Affairs, said phone service is limited in Gaza, but Ottawa is doing what it can to offer assistance.

“We are continuing to communicate directly with Canadians who are seeking to leave the Gaza Strip. We know that they are facing extremely difficult conditions,” she said.

The government is also planning for the possibility that there will be Canadians elsewhere in the Middle East, particularly Lebanon, who may find themselves needing assistance to leave if the conflict widens. The Canadian government’s travel advisory for Lebanon current warns against all non-essential travel to the country and encourages Canadians to leave by commercial means if they can.

Sunday said Canada may not be able to provide assistance to people in Lebanon if the conflict escalates.

“The best advice we can give Canadians right now is to take actions to prevent themselves from being in a situation that could deteriorate,” she said.

Late Tuesday, a missile struck a hospital in Gaza, reportedly killing hundreds. Hamas said it was an Israeli airstrike but Israel denied it, insisting it was not operating in the area of the hospital, and said it had evidence, including video and audio recordings, that the hospital was hit by a missile that failed after it was launched toward Israel by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

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Global Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Tuesday on X, formerly Twitter,Bombing a hospital is an unthinkable act, and there is no doubt that doing so is absolutely illegal.”

Trudeau didn’t not point fingers at who might be responsible, but said the rules of war should be respected.

“The news coming out of Gaza is horrific and absolutely unacceptable. International humanitarian and international law needs to be respected in this and in all cases,” he said. “There are rules around wars.”

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Originally posted 2023-10-18 10:00:43.