As Israel’s ground offensive expands across the Gaza Strip, the NDP is urging the Liberals to immediately create special immigration measures to help Palestinian-Canadians reunite with family members from Gaza.
The measures would facilitate the evacuation of extended family members of Canadians and permanent residents in Gaza.
The Hamas-controlled territory has been targeted with Israeli airstrikes and a ground offensive since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, which killed roughly 1,200 people.
The NDP made the announcement Monday during a press conference and in an open letter to the federal immigration and foreign affairs ministers.
“Canadians with loved ones in Gaza have spent many sleepless nights worrying about their families. They’ve endured distress in the past eight weeks watching the humanitarian crisis worsen in Gaza,” said federal NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan in a press release Monday. “The Liberal government must step in and ensure loved ones are reunited with their families here in Canada, away from the violence and threat to their lives.”
Kwan noted the Australian government has already enacted special immigration measures for those seeking to depart Gaza and said “Canada must do the same.”
Israel’s military renewed calls Monday for mass evacuations from the southern town of Khan Younis, where tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians have sought refuge in recent weeks, as it expanded its ground offensive and bombarded targets in the Gaza Strip.
To date, the war has killed at least 15,899 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s health ministry, and displaced more than three-fourths of the territory’s population of 2.3 million people, who are running out of safe places to go, The Associated Press reports.
Hamilton Centre NDP MP Matthew Green said he has received many calls from Canadians worried about their relatives in Gaza.
“This Liberal government must act to ensure people have peace of mind and know that their loved ones are close by and safe,” he said in a press release. “Many Canadians have already lost family members to this violence. The bare minimum this government can do is save those they can now.”
More to come. …