A Canadian-Palestinian journalist has been missing for almost a week in the Gaza Strip, where he chose to stay to document events there since the conflict with Israel began.
• Also read: A Canadian decides to stay in Gaza to document the war
Relatives of Mansour Shouman, a journalist who made a documentary about the war and humanitarian aid in Gaza, have not heard from him for almost a week. They fear he was arrested by the Israeli army on January 23 while traveling between Khan Younis and Rafah in Gaza.
Zaheera Soomar, who worked with him from Canada, told the Toronto Star that she last spoke to him on January 21. Since then, his calls and messages, as well as those from his wife, have gone unanswered.
“Your mother is broken. There are a lot of people looking for him and supporting him,” Ms. Soomar told media in Toronto.
Global Affairs Canada confirmed: “[être] I am aware of the disappearance of a Canadian in Gaza,” said a message sent to the QMI agency late Sunday afternoon.
“Canadian authorities continue to monitor the situation closely and are in direct contact with family members. Due to confidentiality reasons, no further information can be shared,” it was clarified.
Document the war
Mansour Shouman studied at Queen's University in Kingston and the University of Calgary before working in the oil and gas sector in Alberta for several years.
The Jerusalem native decided to settle in Gaza with his wife and five children two years ago.
After the war between Hamas and Israel began on October 7, Mr. Shouman and his family fled the city, but the father eventually decided to stay to cover the conflict.
Last November, Mansour Shouman told the BBC that it was like an obligation for him to stay there.
“As long as 2.3 million people are suffering, I think it is a religious and humanitarian obligation to stay and tell the story of what is really happening,” he said at the time.
A petition calling for his release was posted online on Change.org on January 27. By Sunday it had already collected more than 91,000 signatures.