Gaza 20/20: Call to Canadian Government for Sanctions until the Blockade on Gaza is Lifted




November 29, 2018, International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians

100 organizations including human rights, international justice, civil society, faith groups and other civil society organizations.

 

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland

Last year, the UN warned that Gaza is expected to be uninhabitable by the year 2020. In the deeply worrying report,  the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities notes that Gaza’s trajectory of “de-development” has accelerated. For the nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, Israel’s persecution and collective punishment has already made life there unbearable.

We bring to your attention Al-Haq’s  Gaza 20/20 campaign which is internationally focused on bringing consciousness to the grave situation, urging governments to call the Israeli government to account.

In Canada, Just Peace Advocates has partnered with Al Haq to bring this message to you personally, with a call to the Canadian government to pursue accountability through both international and domestic law.

International Law: Under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, all High Contracting Parties  (which includes Canada), are required to take action to ensure respect for the Convention “in all circumstances.”

Domestic Law: Under the Special Economic Measures Act, the Canadian government can impose sanctions when “gross and systematic human rights violations have been committed in a foreign state.”

A 2017 EKOS poll indicated that two-thirds of Canadians indicated support for sanctions on Israel.

On October 22, 2018, Canadian law professor Michael Lynk, who serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, issued his most recent report to the UN General Assembly. He pointed out the continued deterioration of almost all aspects of life in Gaza over the past year, as the Palestinian people struggle with the impact of an 11 year blockade of air, sea and land access by Israel. He also highlighted the excessive use of Israeli military force against protesters, noting in the context of an occupation such as that in Gaza, killings resulting from the unlawful use of force may constitute willful killings, a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, and that grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions are categorized by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as war crimes.


The Special Rapporteur’s report calls on Israel to take a number of important steps, including:

  • End the blockade and closure of Gaza, lifting all restrictions on imports and exports as well as on the movement of people, and facilitate full access to medical care, consistent with genuine Israeli security concerns;
  • Ensure that regulations governing the use of force for Israeli security forces are in strict compliance with international standards, with particular attention to the use of deadly force; and
  • Ensure accountability for alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israeli security forces, with particular attention to the demonstrations in Gaza;


The Special Rapporteur further recommends that the international community:

(a) In line with Common Article 1 to the Geneva Conventions, take all necessary measures to respect and ensure respect by Israel, and all other relevant parties, to the solemn obligations of international humanitarian law;

(b) Seek to hold Israel to the international standards by which all states are to be held, including the prohibition on annexation; and

(c) Ensure full accountability of Israeli political and military officials who are responsible for grave breaches of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory;

As civil society organizations, we come together to call the Canadian government to take all possible action to address this mounting human rights and humanitarian crisis under relevant Canadian laws, including the Special Economic Measures Act, and specifically to live up to our country’s responsibilities under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  

As a minimum, we call on the Canadian government to:

 

  • publicly condemn Israeli security operations in Gaza and demand an end to all breaches of international humanitarian law and international human rights law;
  • insist that Israel end its blockade of Gaza; and
  • implement an arms embargo, and press for a comprehensive arms embargo at the level of the UN Security Council; as well as,
  • impose a ban on  all goods originating from illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory entering Canada as well as a ban on Canadian companies operating in illegal settlements or trading in settlement goods.

 

 

Signed by the following human rights, civic society, faith, labour, student and other groups.

 

Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement pour une Paix Juste

Al-Haq (Palestine)

Canadian Arab Federation (CAF)

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)

Amnesty International-Canada

Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Canadian Friends of Sabeel (CFOS)

The Canadian Palestinian Foundation of Quebec

Canadian Federation of Students Ontario

United Jewish People's Order - Canada

Solidarity For Palestinian Human Rights-Queen’s University

Palestinian and Jewish Unity, Montreal

Canada Palestine Association

Regina Peace Council

Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC)

Encounter-EMEM for Israel-Palestine Peace Activities

Socialist Project

International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS)

The Council of Canadians Montreal Chapter

The Council of Canadians London Chapter

Nonviolence International, Washington

Holy Land Trust, Bethlehem

Camp Micah: Leadership for Peace and Justice for  High School Students in South Western Ontario

Justice For Palestinians, Calgary

Palestine Solidarity Working Group - Sudbury

Boycott from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)

Oakville Palestinian Rights Association (OPRA)

Project Ploughshares Saskatoon

Solidarity For Palestinian Human Rights- Concordia

Independent Jewish Voices - Victoria Chapter

Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ)

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Canadian Peace Congress (CPC)

Palestinian Canadian Congress

Canadian Union of Postal Workers/Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses

Student Christian Movement of Canada (SCM Canada)

Mid-Islanders for Just and Peace in the Middle East-Vancouver Island

No More Silence

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Ontario

Toronto BDS Action

Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation (BBCF)

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) Victoria

Jewish Voices - Winnipeg

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee--University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Association

People for Peace, London

Solidarity With Palestine, St. John’s

Quebec BDS

Socialist Action

NDP Socialist Caucus

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

Al Quds Committee

Actions for Palestine-Toronto

United for Palestine-Toronto

No Way to Treat a Child- Toronto/GTA

Canadian Council for Justice and Peace

Niagara BDS Coalition

Ontario Public Interest Research Group-Carleton

Friends of Kashmir Committee Canada

Lanark Action for Social Change

Toronto Action for Change

The Jewish Liberation Theology Institute, Hamilton

VANA Saskatoon (Veterans Against Nuclear Arms Saskatoon)

Conscience Canada.

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) - Canada

Women in Solidarity with Palestine (WSP) - Toronto

Catholics for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land (CJPHL) Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

National United Network for Justice and Peace in Israel Palestine

Former Canadian Eccumenical Accompaniers (Eccumenical Accompaniment Program Palestine Israel-EAPPI)

Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Ryerson Chapter

Palestine Study Group: Vernon - Kelowna

Amnesty International: Kelowna Group

New Socialists

Socialists.ca

Friends of Palestine at Trinity Western University

Syrian Arab Association of Canada

Mennonite Church Manitoba Working Group for the Palestine-Israel Resolution.

Idle No More-Ontario

Bathurst United Church of Canada

University of Waterloo Students for Palestinian Human Rights (UW SPHR)

De-Colonizer, Israel

Canadian Boat to Gaza

Quill Plains (Wynyard) Chapter, Council of Canadians

Canada Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet), Vancouver

Palestine Solidarity Network – Edmonton

Beit Zatoun - Toronto

Zatoun, Fair Trade olive oil from Palestine

Rumbo a Gaza

Parkdale, Communist Party of Canada

Faculty for Palestine

Council of Canadians, Peterborough and Kawarthas Chapter

McGill Students for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR)

Kia Ora Gaza (New Zealand/Aotearoa)

Child and Youth Care Student Union, Ryerson

Science for Peace, Toronto

Buycott Palestine

Earth Chronicle Productions

Al-Haadi Musalla

Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine

Educators for Justice, Waterloo District Catholic School Board

Copied to:

Marc-André Blanchard, Head of Canada’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations

Justice and Human Rights Government Standing Committee c/o Chair, Anthony Housefather

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Senate Standing Committee, c/o Chair A. Raynell Adreychuk

Human Rights Senate Standing Committee, c/o Chair Wanda Elaine Thomas Bernard

Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Group c/o Chair, MP Tabbara

Elizabeth May, Leader of Green Party of Canada

Andrew Scheer, Leader of Conservative Party of Canada

Mario Beaulieu  Acting Head of the Bloc Québécois

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of NDP

Hélène Laverdière, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada Foreign Affairs Critic

Luc Thériault, Bloc Québécois Foreign Affairs Critic

Deborah Lyons, Canadian Ambassador to Israel

Douglas Proudfoot, Representative of Canada to the Palestinian Authority

Nabil Maroof,  Chief Representative, Palestinian General Delegation, Palestinian Delegation to Canada

 


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  • محمد ياسر اليوسفي
    commented 2018-11-29 16:12:57 -0500
    publicly condemn Israeli security operations in Gaza and demand an end to all breaches of international humanitarian law and international human rights law;
  • Mayar El-Khatib
    commented 2018-11-29 04:57:22 -0500
    A long overdue minimum moral stance that is still not taken by Canada