London, Ont. Mayor Josh Morgan has added his name to the list of Canadian politicians calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
In a statement posted to social media on Monday, Morgan said the conflict which began on Oct. 7 “continues to cause intense pain, grief, and trauma for London’s Jewish, Muslim, and Palestinian communities.”
Morgan said he was also calling for the release of all hostages taken by Hamas, for Hamas to surrender and for those in desperate need to be given safe access to humanitarian aid.
“I want peace and security for Palestinians. I want peace and security for Israelis,” he said in the statement.
Morgan went on to acknowledge that his ability to influence global events was limited, but said he would “continue to do all I can to achieve those objectives here in London.” He encouraged all London residents to do the same.
“Since the start of this war, we have seen a rise in anti-Palestinian acts, antisemitism, and Islamophobia. Londoners wonder if their synagogues or their mosques will be attacked as we’ve seen in other cities,” the statement said.
“We have an opportunity and an obligation to promote here at home the peace and security we desire abroad.”
CBC News contacted Morgan for comment but did not receive a response by publishing time.
The ongoing conflict has killed more than 12,700 Palestinians in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza. Another 4,000 are missing and believed to be buried in the rubble of buildings destroyed in Israeli airstrikes.
About 1,200 people have died on the Israeli side, mostly civilians during the initial Oct. 7 attack. Israel says 66 of its soldiers have been killed. Hamas also took an estimated 249 hostages back to the Gaza Strip.
Morgan’s statement came hours after 12 people were killed when a shell struck the second floor of Gaza’s Indonesian Hospital, according to the World Health Organization. Hamas blamed the incident on Israel, which denied shelling the hospital.
Morgan joins several local politicians who have issued calls for a ceasefire in the conflict to evacuate those trapped in Gaza and to get humanitarian aid into the besieged territory.
Last month, 33 MPs, including 23 Liberals, signed a letter urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to advocate for a ceasefire. London West Liberal MP Arielle Kayabaga and London West New Democrat MP Lindsay Mathyssen were among the signatories.
The provincial and federal New Democrats have also pressured Trudeau to do the same.
Earlier this month, the federal NDP caucus signed a letter demanding Trudeau call for a ceasefire.
In October, Peggy Sattler, the NDP MPP for London—Fanshawe, told Queen’s Park that the Ontario New Democrats condemned Hamas for its Oct. 7 attack, and urged a ceasefire and the release of all hostages.
Trudeau has previously advocated for a “humanitarian pause” in the conflict. Last week, Trudeau said Israel should use “maximum restraint” to protect civilian life, and drew a sharp rebuke from Israel’s prime minister.