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Manitoba delegation sending its love to Israel

A Manitoba delegation is heading to Israel this week on a goodwill mission that will include visits to wounded Israeli soldiers in hospitals and a meeting with Canada's ambassador to Israel.

The group, dubbed "Winnipeg to Israel with Love", was assembled by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

The tour leaves Winnipeg Wednesday and returns Aug. 26. Everyone is paying their own travel expenses, a federation spokeswoman said.

The delegation includes Bernie Bellan, editor of the Jewish Post and News, as well as former Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs leader Ron Evans, now chief of Norway House Cree Nation.

"A varied group of 19 from all walks of life has come together to demonstrate solidarity for Israel at this time of great stress during what we hope will be the final stage of Operation Protective Edge," the federation said in a statement Monday.

"We have all come together to show Israelis that we stand with them and that we care", co-chairman Michel Aziza said in the statement. "The constant bombardment by Hamas of Israel and Israel's defensive action, Operation Protective Edge, have taken a toll on Israel and Israelis."

The month-long Israel-Hamas war has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, according to Palestinian and UN officials. Israel has lost 67 people, all but three of them soldiers, say news reports.

-- staff

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