May 13th, 2021
Canada must play an active role in helping build a just and sustainable solution for Palestinians and Israelis
Statement from MP Jack Harris, New Democrat Foreign Affairs Critic:
We are deeply troubled by the marked escalation of violence in Gaza and in occupied East Jerusalem, after weeks of increased tension over the forced eviction of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, Israeli police raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque and blocking Palestinian access to popular meeting spots.
Already, Israeli airstrikes have killed 83 Palestinians including 17 children and injured hundreds of others. Rockets indiscriminately launched from Gaza have killed seven Israelis. Urgent de-escalation is needed to prevent further loss of life. Both Palestinians and Israelis have the right to live in safety and security.
However, there will be no solution to this protracted conflict until there is an end to the 50 year occupation of Palestinian territories, which is illegal under international law.
For years, successive Liberal and Conservative governments have said they are committed to a two-state solution yet have continued to support the status quo. They have even gone so far as to sell arms to Israel, undermining Canada’s commitment to peace.
New Democrats have consistently called on Canada to stop selling arms to countries that violate Human Rights and International Law, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Similarly, we now call on Canada to end arms sales to Israel until the end of the illegal occupation.
Canada also must play a stronger role in pushing for a resolution to this conflict, including calling for an end to the illegal occupation, settlements and evictions, recognizing the statehood of Palestine, urging Israel to allow Palestinians in East Jerusalem to participate in the Palestinian election, and playing an active role in helping build a just and sustainable solution for Palestinians and Israelis.