Canada backs humanitarian pauses so aid can reach Gaza -PM Trudeau

FILE PHOTO: Canada's PM Trudeau attends a pro-Israel rally at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre in Ottawa

OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canada supports the idea of humanitarian pauses in the Israel-Hamas war so aid can reach Palestinian civilians in Gaza and hostages can be freed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

"There are a lot of conversations going on now about the need for humanitarian pauses and I think that's something Canada supports," he told reporters.

"We must remain anchored on the priorities of protecting innocent (people) and freeing the hostages."

Trudeau and other cabinet ministers have repeatedly said Israel has the right to defend itself after deadly attacks by Hamas, as long as it adheres to international law.

The New York Times, citing U.S. officials, on Sunday said Washington had advised Israel to delay a ground invasion of Gaza, hoping to buy time for hostage negotiations and to allow more humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, asked whether Canada had also asked Israel for a delay, told a press conference that "we absolutely are focused on working with all of our partners in the region" to address Ottawa's humanitarian concerns but did not answer directly.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Steve SchererEditing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler)