Saturday, February 24, 2024

Canadian reported missing in Gaza makes contact with family, posts video online

First Published:

A spokeswoman for the family of a Palestinian Canadian who was reported missing in the Gaza Strip says he has made contact with his loved ones.

Zaheera Soomar says Mansour Shouman was documenting the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war when he lost contact with his mother, wife and colleagues in Abu Dhabi and Canada on Jan. 21.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed a few days later that it was aware of a Canadian missing in Gaza.

Soomar, who is in Toronto, says Shouman got in touch with his family and the team supporting his work on Monday and is doing OK.

She says he has since posted a video of himself online, saying he has been in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis after escaping several bouts of fighting related to the war.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly says she saw the good news about Shouman being alive and hopes to speak with his mother soon.

In the video posted online, Shouman is seen saying he left his phone behind while heading out to check on a project with others. He said he then became caught up in a series of attacks, during which he took shelter in several locations, and is now back at a hospital complex in Khan Younis.

“For the last two weeks, we have been going from house to house throughout (the) west of Khan Younis,” he said in the video. “We never left Khan Younis, we never thought of leaving Khan Younis.”

Shouman previously did oil and gas consulting work in Calgary and is the father of five children who left Gaza with his wife late last year.

He has gained attention for the videos and messages he posts on his social media platforms, documenting the war that began on Oct. 7.

READ MORE: Mother of Canadian journalist missing in Gaza speaks out

In Toronto, Soomar, who is a member of a team supporting Shouman, said his loved ones are relieved to have heard from him.

“We’re kind of comforted, and we’re happy he has made contact but we also continue to be worried about his safety and what happens next,” Soomar said.

“There’s a lot of decisions that need to be made between his mother, his wife and him and so we just want to respect that.”

Gaza has been under constant bombardment as Israel retaliates against Hamas, which controls the territory, for a brutal attack on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 people and saw another 250 taken hostage.

Amid a massive military response from Israel, the Hamas-run health ministry says more than 27,478 people have been killed, including militants.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2024.

Hamilton
mist
-1.4 ° C
-0.1 °
-3 °
75 %
7.2kmh
100 %
Sat
1 °
Sun
12 °
Mon
18 °
Tue
15 °
Wed
17 °

More Top News

Man hospitalized after shots fired near Hookah lounge: Hamilton

An early morning shooting near a hookah lounge in central Hamilton has sent a man to hospital. Hamilton police say they were called to the...

Some Republicans urge IVF protection in Alabama embryo ruling

Families in Alabama are left wondering what's next after the state's supreme court ruled that frozen embryos are entitled to the same legal rights...

Lost dog found after five long days of searching

A Stoney Creek man says his dog escaped from staff at an animal hospital while on a walk after surgery and was missing for...

St. Catharines modular homes project to open on Monday

A new project to give homes to the homeless was on display on Friday in St. Catharines, as they prepared to open their doors...

RVs and trailers on empty north end lot told to leave

The City of Hamilton is warning people living in RVS and trailers on empty land in the north end they have to leave the...

Man critically injured after being pinned under semi-truck at work in Thorold

A man has been airlifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries after he was pinned under the axle of a semi-truck at his workplace in...

NDP and Liberals reach deal on pharmacare as deadline looms

The NDP and governing Liberals have reached a deal to introduce the first portion of a nation-wide pharmacare program. The agreement is a critical piece...