Around 70 Canadians are stuck in the Gaza Strip and have asked for help, federal government officials said Wednesday, but the Canadian government has no way of reaching them without a humanitarian corridor.

For Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families seeking to leave Israel as violent clashes continue, military flights from Tel Aviv to Athens could begin as early as Thursday evening local time.

Officials who spoke with reporters on background Wednesday afternoon said approximately 1,000 Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank have asked for consular help and about 700 of them want to get on a flight out.

The government has taken the highly unusual step of offering military flights even though the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv was still open.

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