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Garneau welcomes ceasefire ending 11-day war in Gaza, Israel that killed hundreds

Last Updated May 21, 2021 at 12:06 pm PDT

Smoke rises following Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, Thursday, May 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

OTTAWA — Global Affairs Minister Marc Garneau says Canada welcomes a ceasefire ending the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas that left hundreds of people dead.

In a statement posted on his Twitter account, Garneau says he is appalled by the tragic loss of life and urges all sides to further de-escalate tensions.

Garneau says Canada is calling on Israelis and Palestinians for a renewed commitment to peace and is standing ready to support efforts toward a two-state solution.

The truce took effect at 2 a.m. local time Friday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said his Security Cabinet had unanimously accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal.

At least 230 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children and 39 women, with 1,710 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Twelve people in Israel, including a five-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl, were killed.

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The fighting erupted on May 10, when Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem.

The barrage came after days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, which is built on a hilltop site sacred to Jews in the holy city.

Tensions were fuelled by a lengthy legal battle waged by Israeli settlers to take over properties and plan for the removal of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.