Montreal, August 8, 2022 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is demanding that the Canadian government holds Israeli officials accountable for its unprovoked and aggressive war against Gaza this weekend, which killed at least 44 Palestinians. Canada has not commented on Israel’s actions except to support Israel’s right to security, ignoring Israel’s pattern of deliberately targeting civilians in airstrikes – in what clearly amount to war crimes. CJPME urges Canada to end Israel’s impunity and deter future violence, including by ending military trade with Israel.
“Canadians are appalled and deeply embarrassed by Canada’s refusal to condemn Israel’s attacks against civilians in Gaza," said Michael Bueckert, Vice President of CJPME. “If Canada fails hold Israel accountable for its pattern of deliberately bombing civilian targets, it will embolden further Israeli aggression and encourage its wanton disregard for international law,” added Bueckert.
Over a period of three days starting on Friday, August 5, Israeli airstrikes deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure across Gaza, including residential towers. At least 44 Palestinians were killed, including 16 children, and more than 350 were injured. Due to lack of fuel, Gaza’s only power plant shut down, leaving people with only 4 hours of electricity per day. In response to Israeli attacks, Islamic Jihad militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, but no Israeli causalities have been reported. This was the most serious violence since Israel’s 11-day offensive on Gaza in May 2021, which killed at least 240 Palestinians, 63% of which were civilians, and injured 1,968.
Except for a single and unsigned tweet, issued late on August 6, the Canadian government has remained entirely silent on Israel’s latest war. Canada’s sole statement boasted of supporting “Israel's right to assure its own security," but CJPME notes that the statement failed to specify that it was Palestinians who had been killed, that Israel was the aggressor party, or that Israel’s airstrikes had deliberately targeted residential buildings. According to Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, Israel’s disproportionate attacks on civilians may amount to crimes against humanity, and UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese has condemned Israel’s military offensive as “a flagrant act of aggression. Illegal. Immoral. Irresponsible.”
CJPME urges Canada to respond to Israeli aggression and violations of international law by implementing the following concrete solutions:
- Canada should clearly condemn Israel’s act of aggression, and deter Israel from conducting future violence;
- Canada should suspend all military trade with Israel, and make sure that made-in-Canada weapons are not being used against civilians in Gaza;
- Canada should demand an immediate and permanent end to Israel’s brutal and illegal 15-year blockade of Gaza;
- Canada should fully support the investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into possible war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, and urge the ICC to include Israel’s recent actions in its investigation.
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: Michael Bueckert, VP CJPME: 613-315-7947 or [email protected].
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org
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