Canada: Pressure Israel to end starvation in Gaza!

Last week, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to prevent genocide by ending its restrictions on aid into Gaza. For months, UN experts have warned of the risk of imminent famine in Gaza, as Israel deliberately uses starvation as a weapon of war against Palestinians. For the past six months, little to no food, clean water or fuel has entered Gaza, leading to high levels of hunger and malnutrition. People are starving to death.

While Canada has pledged financial aid, expressed support for airdropping aid, and supports a “humanitarian sea corridor,” none of these measures address the central problem: Israel’s blockade. More than 2 million people in Gaza are at risk, as starvations and famine are spreading. Canada must put meaningful pressure on Israel to end its siege and allow the entry of aid into Gaza.

Use the fields below to send an email to Prime Minister Trudeau, federal leaders, and your local MP. Canada must pressure Israel to end its man-made famine against Palestinians and allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

As people in Gaza are starving to death, we are witnessing the inevitable consequences of Israel’s siege. The suffering faced today by the people of Gaza was intentional, planned, and completely preventable.

Israel openly proclaimed its policy of forced famine very early on. On October 9, Israel’s defence minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” on Gaza and promised: “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed … We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly." Since then, Israel’s restrictions have slowed down the delivery of food aid to a trickle, far short of the bare minimum necessary for survival.

Now, all of the warnings are coming true. In March, the world’s top body with expertise on food insecurity warned that “Famine is imminent” in northern Gaza and that “all evidence points towards a major acceleration of death and malnutrition.” Experts say that “we are about to witness the most intense famine since the Second World War.” Children are starving to death.

The UN High Commissioner for human rights warns that Israel may be using starvation as a weapon of war, a serious war crime. On March 28, the International Court of Justice issued new provisional measures in the genocide case against Israel. Given the “spread of famine and starvation,” the ICJ ordered Israel to prevent genocide by ensuring “the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including by “increasing the capacity and number of land crossing points and maintaining them open for as long as necessary.”

Meanwhile, Canada’s approach to this man-made crisis has been completely inadequate. Even though Israel was clear about its intentions from the start, it took weeks before Canada began to modify its unconditional support for Israel’s offensive and express concern for Palestinian lives.

Today, statements by Canadian cabinet ministers often express concern for the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and Parliament voted on March 18 to “demand unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza.” Canada has also pledged significant funding for aid and is participating in food airdrops and a “humanitarian sea corridor.” However, CJPME has warned about the significant limitations of these schemes, which fail to address Israel’s deliberate siege and blockade.

At a fundamental level, the problem of famine in Gaza is political, not logistical, or financial. Israel is deliberately using starvation as a weapon of war, as an act of genocide. In this context, no amount of aid pledges or schemes will be sufficient. Canada’s approach must change, and fast. Help us tell Canada to put meaningful pressure on Israel, so that it ends the siege and brings an end to the starvation of Gaza.