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Palestinian Canadian missing in Gaza contacts family and posts video online IG News

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A spokeswoman for the family of a Palestinian Canadian who went 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 during the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas when he lost contact with his mother, wife and colleagues in Abu Dhabi and Canada on January 21.

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

Soomar, who is in Toronto, says Shouman contacted his family and support team on Monday and is fine.

He says he has since posted a video of himself online saying he was in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis after fleeing several war-related clashes.

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Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly says she sees good news that Shouman is alive and hopes to speak to his mother soon.

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

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

Formerly an oil and gas consultant in Calgary, Shouman is a father of five who left Gaza with his wife late last year.

He has attracted attention through videos and messages he posts on his social media platforms documenting the war that began on October 7.

In Toronto, Soomar, who is a member of Shouman’s support team, said his loved ones were relieved to hear from him.

“We’re kind of relieved and glad he made contact, but we also continue to be concerned about his safety and what happens next,” Soomar said.

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

Gaza has been under constant bombardment as Israel retaliates against Hamas, which controls the territory, for a brutal attack on October 7.

© 2024 The Canadian Press

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