Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has backtracked on his insinuation that Israel blew up a Gaza hospital.
Immediately after the Gaza Ministry of Health claimed on Tuesday that Israel struck the Al-Ahli Hospital in a targeted attack, Trudeau implied that the report was true when he told reporters, “International humanitarian and international law needs to be respected in this, and in all cases. There are rules around wars and it’s not acceptable to hit a hospital.”
But contradictory reports quickly surfaced. Images of the hospital appear to suggest it wasn’t bombed or destroyed at all — rather, the parking lot was hit by something.
Canadian legacy media outlets such as the Toronto Star subsequently edited their headlines after taking the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health at their word.
Trudeau began backtracking on Thursday, a day after US President Biden said the incident looked to have been caused by Hamas.
“The deaths of innocents in that hospital in Gaza never should have happened,” Trudeau said, adding, “but we are taking the necessary time to look carefully at everything and rapidly, of course, before we draw any final conclusions about what happened… ”
Liberal foreign affairs minister Mélanie Joly, Liberal MP François-Philippe Champagne, and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also implied that Israel was to blame for the alleged destruction of the Gaza hospital. None of them have retracted their statements.
Conservatives call for retraction
On Wednesday, Conservative MP Melissa Lanstman said on X that Trudeau and Joly’s comments were “dangerous and irresponsible.”
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said Trudeau amplified “disinformation.”
Last year, Trudeau similarly appeared to falsely spread a claim that Russia killed two Polish farmers with a rocket — which was shortly thereafter reported to have likely come from Ukraine.