Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday slammed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his call to stop the killing of women and children in the Gaza Strip.
Netanyahu again appealed for support for his country’s fight against the Islamist group Hamas.
“It is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned, and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust,” Netanyahu wrote directly to Trudeau in a post on X, formerly Twitter, early on Wednesday.
“The forces of civilisation must back Israel in defeating Hamas’ barbarism,” Netanyahu continued.
Earlier, Trudeau had urged the Israeli government to “exercise maximum restraint” in its fight in the Gaza Strip and to grant a humanitarian pause.
“The price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians,” Trudeau said at a news conference in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
“All wars have rules. All innocent life has equal worth. Israeli and Palestinian,” he said.
“The world is watching,” Trudeau continued, adding: “We’re hearing the testimonies of doctors, family members, survivors, kids who’ve lost their parents.”
“The world is witnessing this. The killing of women, children. Of babies. This has to stop.”
The Canadian leader also called on Hamas to stop using civilians as human shields, and to release all hostages “immediately and unconditionally.”
“While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way,” Netanyahu said on X.
“Israel provides civilians in Gaza humanitarian corridors and safe zones.
“Hamas prevents them from leaving at gunpoint,” his post read.
“It is Hamas not Israel that should be held accountable for committing a double war crime – targeting civilians while hiding behind civilians,” he said.
The catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip grew worse on Tuesday as much of the focus remained on grim accounts about the state of the collapsed health system there after almost six weeks of war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
On October 7, Hamas fighters and other groups killed about 1,200 people in massacres and attacks in the Israeli border area and abducted some 240 hostages who were taken into Gaza.
The number of Palestinians killed in Gaza has risen to 11,500 since the start of the war on Oct. 7, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. Some 29,000 people have been injured.