Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Besieged Canadians await evacuation from Gaza fighting

OTTAWA - Canada condemned Palestinian fighters for endangering the lives of civilians in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday as 39 Canadians awaited an evacuation that has already been postponed once.

Israeli authorities were preventing the Canadians from escaping the combat between Israeli forces and militant Hamas fighters because of security concerns.

Peter Kent, the newly minted minister of state for Foreign Affairs, blamed the Palestinians' duly elected government in Gaza for compromising the safety and welfare of its own civilians.

"The position of the government of Canada is that Hamas bears the burden of responsibility for the deepening humanitarian tragedy," Kent said in an interview.

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