TORONTO (JTA) – The province of Ontario has offered to treat Palestinian and Israeli children wounded in the Israel-Gaza war.
The announcement from Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins said the province is willing to take the most serious cases from both Gaza and Israel if the children are unable to receive proper treatment at home but can make the journey to Canada, reports Canadian Press.
Israeli and Palestinian authorities have indicated they’re willing to cooperate with the effort, Hoskins said.
Five Ontario hospitals – including Toronto’s famed Hospital for Sick Children – have offered to treat the kids, with some medical staff even offering to work for free.
“Children who are suffering on either side of the conflict, we want to do what we can to help them,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told reporters Tuesday.
Hoskins, who co-founded and led the charity War Child Canada before entering politics, told the Toronto Star that Ontarians “have a moral responsibility to respond in this instance.”
“My heart goes out to the victims, particularly the youngest victims on any side of this conflict or any conflict for that matter. And I think that’s also what Canadians are thinking at this moment in time,” he told CP.
Hoskins noted the request to Canadians to help both Israeli and Palestinian children came from Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, who now lives in Toronto. Three of Abuelaish’s daughters were killed in Israel’s shelling of Gaza in 2009.