A fifth Canadian has died in Israel after the attack launched by militant group Hamas last weekend.
Canadian citizen Netta Epstein, 21, was killed in Kfar Aza, a kibbutz in southern Israel, his family told Global News.
The family is originally from Montreal.
Speaking at a technical briefing earlier in the day, Julie Sunday, assistant deputy minister at Global Affairs Canada responsible for consular, security and emergency management, also said that the department “is aware of the deaths of five Canadians.”
“Sadly, one Canadian who was missing has now been confirmed as deceased, and we have had confirmation of another death. As a result, Global Affairs Canada is aware of the deaths of five Canadians. We also continue to follow up on the cases of three other missing Canadians,” Sunday said.
“I can’t confirm any specifics for privacy reasons,” she added, while speaking to reporters in Ottawa. “It is an extremely tragic outcome. Our thoughts are with the families in all of these cases.”
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As of Sunday, some 6,800 Canadians in Israel have requested government assistance and by the end of the day, just over 1,000 Canadians will have been repatriated from Israel and taken to Athens, Greece, officials said.
The four other Canadians confirmed dead since Hamas launched a multifront attack on Israel are Ben Mizrachi from Vancouver; Alexander Look from Montreal; Adi Vital-Kaploun, who had family ties to Ottawa; and Shir Georgy.
Meanwhile, the situation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip remains precarious as residents seek safety after a week of heavy Israeli airstrikes and ahead of an expected ground offensive by Tel Aviv.
Currently, there is no way out of Gaza for the roughly 2.3 million people living in the territory. An anticipated safe corridor at the Rafah Gate border crossing into Egypt didn’t open due to violence, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly confirmed Saturday.
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So far, some 300 Canadians permanent residents and their families have also reached out for assistance and support to leave Gaza, Sunday said.
Israel has cut off supplies to the territory of food, fuel, medicines and other goods.
“It is increasingly challenging to communicate with Canadians in the Gaza Strip, given that electricity is down and telecoms are affected,” Sunday said.
— with files from The Associated Press and Naomi Barghiel.
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