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Canada Expands Temporary Visa Program for Gaza Residents to 5,000 Amid Ongoing Crisis

Canada announced on Monday that it would issue temporary visas to 5,000 Gaza residents through a special program designed for relatives of Canadians living in the war-torn enclave. This move is a preparatory step in case these residents are able to leave Gaza in the future.

This number is a significant increase from the 1,000 temporary resident visas initially allotted under a special program for Gaza announced in December. The immigration ministry stated that there has been significant interest in the program, demonstrating the high demand and urgent need for assistance among Gaza residents.

“While movement out of Gaza is not currently possible due to the ongoing conflict and restrictions, the situation may change at any time. By increasing the cap, we will be ready to assist more people as the situation evolves,” said Immigration Minister Marc Miller in the statement. “This proactive measure ensures that we can respond swiftly and effectively to the needs of those seeking safety and reunification with their families in Canada.”

Meanwhile, following a “devastating” strike on Rafah, the United States has urged Israel to take every possible precaution to protect civilians in the region. This call for caution came from US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

“Israel has the right to pursue Hamas, and we understand that this strike killed two senior Hamas members who were responsible for orchestrating attacks against Israeli civilians,” Kirby told Reuters. “However, as we have consistently stated, Israel must take every possible measure to protect civilians and minimize collateral damage.”

“We are actively engaging with the Israeli army and partners on the ground to assess what happened during the strike. We understand that an investigation is currently underway to determine the details and implications of the incident,” he added.

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