OTTAWA, Canada – Global Affairs Canada issued a statement, following UN Security Council Session on the devastating violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza:
“Canada is appalled by the ongoing violence, rising tensions, and the devastating loss of life. The toll particularly on civilians, including women and children has already been too great. Canada continues to express grave concerns over the escalating violence in Israel, West Bank, and Gaza. Canada joins its allies and friends in urging all parties to take steps to immediately end all violence, prevent further loss of life, protect all civilians, and de-escalate tensions. All parties must uphold international law.
“Canada reiterates the fundamental importance of protecting journalists and press freedom. Journalists and media workers are the cornerstone of any fair, strong and vibrant society and must be free to do their work without fear. Any violence against journalists is completely unacceptable, especially in volatile contexts where they are risking their lives to do their jobs. Further, it is completely unacceptable to see humanitarian workers and facilities under fire. Their safety and security must always be ensured.
“The continued indiscriminate barrage of rocket attacks fired by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad into Israel against civilians is completely unacceptable and must cease immediately. Those foreign entities which support Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad must end their material and financial support to these groups. Canada supports Israel’s right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries and fully supports Israel’s right to assure its own security. This right also comes with immense responsibility and obligation to act in accordance with international law. The use of force has led to significant civilian loss of life and we urge utmost restraint.
“Canada remains gravely concerned by the continued expansion of settlements, demolitions, and evictions, including the ongoing cases in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. These actions impact families and livelihoods, do not serve peace and are a violation of international law. Unilateral actions that prejudge the outcome of direct negotiations and further jeopardize the prospects for a two-state solution must be avoided.
“Canada is alarmed by the clashes and violence among Arab and Jewish communities in parts of Israel. We implore all authorities and citizens alike to help maintain calm, reduce tensions, and help keep the peace while respecting human rights. We stand firmly with the Israeli and Palestinian people in their right to live in peace, security, with dignity, without fear, and with their human rights respected.
“Canada has observed an increase of hatred, including antisemitism and Islamophobia, at home and around the world. It is our collective responsibility to fight hatred and condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Canada is committed to standing against hatred and discrimination in all their forms and is committed to working with our domestic and international partners to promote and defend pluralism, inclusion and human rights at home and abroad.
“Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel. We will always stand ready to support efforts for a two-state solution.
“The loss of life in this conflict is heartbreaking. For decades, this conflict has caused much pain to both Palestinian and Israeli families and impacted the social fabric in the region. This is all the more reason for the parties to urgently find a sustainable resolution to the conflict. The spiral of violence and hatred must immediately stop. Mutual recognition and respect are the critical foundation for a lasting peace.
“Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and with Israeli and Palestinian youth and future generations top of our mind, we urge all parties to renew their commitment to peace and security and encourage the Security Council to remain engaged on efforts to bring an end to the violence.”