CJPME condemns Israel’s targeted killing of Canadian aid worker

Montreal, April 2, 2024Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) condemns in the strongest terms Israel’s targeted attack on an aid convoy in Gaza which killed a Canadian-US dual national. The aid worker was killed alongside 6 international and Palestinian volunteers with World Central Kitchen in a series of Israeli airstrikes on their aid convoy. The identity of the Canadian has not yet been publicly identified. CJPME calls on the Canadian government to ensure swift consequences for this criminal act.

“This is far from the first time that Israel has targeted an aid convoy or killed humanitarian workers. Many family members of Canadians have also been killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza. But this atrocity is yet another reminder that no person in Gaza is safe, and anyone could be a target,” said Michael Bueckert, Vice President of CJPME. “We cannot wait for the results of an investigation before taking action. Canada must act now to sanction Israeli leaders and prevent further indiscriminate killing,” said Bueckert.

Israel has claimed responsibility for the attack but has called it an accident. However, CJPME believes that no rational person could believe this claim, given all of the available evidence. The convoy, consisting of multiple vehicles prominently featuring the World Central Kitchen logo, was hit after leaving an aid warehouse. Its route and timing were coordinated and authorized by the Israeli military. The convoy was hit by three successive drone strikes along the authorized route, as the vehicles were more than 500m apart. The vehicles were targeted one by one, picking off the survivors as they fled to the other vehicles for safety. All of the volunteers were killed.

As a result of the attack, the World Central Kitchen has suspended its operations, forcing aid ships to return to Cyprus with food aid left undelivered. This is particularly devastating as Israel’s blockade pushes Gaza further towards a forced famine and mass starvation event. “The attacks on aid workers, alongside the starvation policies in Gaza, must be recognized as evidence of Israel’s genocidal intent,” added Bueckert.

CJPME argues that the targeted assassination of humanitarian workers cannot go unpunished, and urges the Canadian government to take the minimum following actions:

1) Canada must make a strong and public condemnation of Israel for the attack;

2) Canada must expel the Israeli ambassador to Canada;

3) Canada must impose sanctions on Israeli officials responsible for this attack, and pressure Israel to end its blockade of Gaza;

4) Canada must send a letter to the International Criminal Court expressing its support for an investigation into the incident as a war crime.