Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper reiterated Canada's support to Israel and blamed Hamas squarely for the death and destruction in Gaza. Harper was unfazed by the US criticism of Israel for the attack on UN schools in Gaza and said no one likes the suffering and loss of life. But the terrorist organization Hamas must be blamed for the bloodshed.
According to Harper, Hamas initiated and continued the conflict seeking the destruction of Israel. The Prime Minister said Israel was justified in its actions saying if a terrorist organisation tried to target Canadians a similar response will from Canada also.
Harper's remarks came at a time when the United States and the United Nations sought to condemn Israel for the shelling at a UN school that sheltered displaced Palestinians on the Gaza Strip. The raid killed 17 people. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency some 3,300 Palestinians including women and children were huddled in the school building of the Jabalya refugee camp.
The White House in a statement expressed its concerns and said it was sad that thousands of internally displaced Palestinians have been left unsafe in the UN designated shelters. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon dubbed the attack as shameful and said evidence points to shelling by Israeli artillery.
The U.N. said this was the sixth school to be hit Israeli attack and the second to cause deaths. Israel too acknowledged that its troops fired a mortar shell that hit the courtyard but the aerial footage showed the yard was empty and a shell could not have killed anyone.
The Israeli military defended itself saying they were being targeted by mortar rounds from the schools. The ongoing bloodshed in the embattled coastal territory has dimmed the prospects for a sustainable ceasefire despite international efforts
Harper also took potshots at China and said there he has no doubt that the Chinese were behind the cyber attacks on Canada's federal scientific research agency. Canada's information officer Corinne Charette had alleged that its National Research Council was attacked by cyber hackers from a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor. Though China's embassy in Ottawa had denied the charge Harper is not buying it.