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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Israeli strike ends, Canadian Forces free to deploy

Tags: Israel Canadian Forces Foreign Ministry Israel
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Canadian Forces serving with UNIFIL in Lebanon in 2008 [DND photo]

Israel’s Foreign Ministry labour dispute came to an end Aug. 1, as employees agreed to return to work and seek mediation to resolve the six-month strike.

The end of the strike means eight Canadian Forces soldiers taking part in the Operation Proteus training mission of Palestinian security personnel will be free to rotate in and out according to their normal schedule, said Department of National Defence spokesperson Elana Aptowitzer.

“The soldiers were not delayed at all and will be coming back according to their pre-determined timelines,” Aptowitzer told The CJN.

Media reports had indicated the eight soldiers might become “stranded” because of the strike, but Aptowitzer said that was never the case.

Even in the midst of the labour dispute, Canadian personnel could have been returned home. However, the strike would have prevented the issuing of travel documents to their replacements and “new guys couldn’t get in. We didn’t want to have a gap” where the Proteus mission would not have eight members, she said.

Canadian personnel might have had to temporarily extend their deployment in the Palestinian territories had the strike not come to an end, she added.

The troops have been overseas for a year, and their replacements are scheduled to deploy some time this month.

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