Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte Liberal MP Gerry Byrne said a Canadian delegation will continue what has set out to do on a trip to the Middle East, despite finding themselves in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Tuesday.
© Photo courtesy of Yvonne Jones
Liberal MPs Gerry Byrne and Yvonne Jones had to take cover in the Tower of David Tuesday night when rocket attacks hit the city of Jerusalem. The two are part of a Canadian delegation visiting Israel.
Byrne and fellow Liberal MP Yvonne Jones, Labrador, are in Jerusalem as part of a parliamentary delegation that are guests of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.
Byrne said they are examining the Palestinian-Israeli relationship with the aim to draw conclusions about the potential for successful peace arrangements.
The group had finished up meetings Tuesday evening and were visiting the Tower of David when air-raid sirens sounded warning of an impending attack of long-range missiles.
Byrne, Jones and some others from the delegation were taken to a crypt in the bottom of the tower to wait out the attack.
“I was definitely concerned,” said Byrne of what his response would be if asked was he scared.
“But you draw your own emotions from those around you as well, and everyone around me was very calm, and cool, and collected and level headed about it.”
Byrne said the whole process was very well managed and about 150 people waited out the attack which lasted about 15 to 20 minutes.
After that they were free to carry on their evening.
Byrne said the group arrived in Jerusalem on Sunday and will return home early next week.
He said the attack will not have an impact on the trip.
“We have no intention of leaving,” he said by phone Wednesday.
“We’re here, we have a job to do.”
Byrne said the group will closely follow the advice of the Canadian consular services in Jerusalem and the advice of the Israeli government as it continues the trip.