Canada must condemn new Israeli settlement announcements

canada-_sett_v.2.jpgMontreal, January 31, 2017  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) calls on the Canadian government to condemn Israel’s recent statements announcing its intention to expand its illegal settlements in Palestinian territory.  In the week ending Friday, Jan. 27th, Israel made three separate settlement expansion announcements, yet Canada remained unresponsive.  “Not only are such announcements contrary to international law,” declared Thomas Woodley, President of CJPME, “But such belligerent moves also contradict long-standing Canadian policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict.”  

On Sunday, Jan. 22, Israel accepted building permits for 566 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem; on Tuesday, Jan. 24, Israel approved a plan to build 2,500 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank; and on Thursday, Jan. 26, Israel announced 153 new units in occupied East Jerusalem.  CJPME points out that Canada’s official position on Israel’s settlements reads, “As referred to in UN Security Council Resolutions 446 and 465, Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements also constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.” 

“Once again, the actions of the Trudeau government appear no different than those of the Harper government on the question of Israel,” asserted Woodley.  “While the UN and EU have the resolve to condemn Israel’s provocative moves, this government refuses to speak a word of protest.”  With the UN condemnation, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General stated, “For the secretary-general there is no plan B for the two-states solution. […]  In this respect any unilateral decision that can be an obstacle to the two-state goal is of grave concern for the secretary-general.”

Israel’s new boldness in expanding its illegal settlements comes immediately after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.  In fact, several Israeli officials – including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – expressed relief that they would no longer face the Obama administration’s pressure against settlements.  Israeli officials admitted to the media that they have a backlog of 11,000 settlement units waiting to be approved following 8 years of pressure from the Obama administration. 

About CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region.

For more information, please contact CJPME at 438-380-5410
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org

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