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e-2565 (Foreign affairs)

Initiated by Karen Rodman from Toronto, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • The Palestinian people in Gaza have been under blockade for 13 years;
  • This has resulted in accelerated de-development, and led the United Nations to indicate that Gaza would be unlivable by 2020;
  • COVID-19 has grave potential for human catastrophe in this most densely populated area of the world;
  • Article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention specifically provides that an occupier has the duty of ensuring and maintaining the measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics; and
  • Under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, all high signatories, of which Canada is one, are required to take actions to ensure that violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention do not occur under any circumstance.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to request that Israel immediately lift the blockade on Gaza to enable medical and humanitarian aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, and insist that Israel permanently end its blockade of Gaza; and vote at the UN General Assembly in alignment with the majority of the international community taking a stance in line with international law and human rights for Palestinians.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne

The humanitarian and security situation in Gaza, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, remains a central preoccupation for the Government of Canada. As part of the funding to respond to COVID-19 announced on April 5, 2020, Canada committed $4 million for United Nations (UN) humanitarian appeals to support the healthcare needs of at-risk Palestinians. On April 23, 2020, Canada also announced its allocation of $18 million in humanitarian assistance to address the urgent priorities identified in the UN’s 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan for the West Bank and Gaza. This two-year funding commitment will help particularly vulnerable Palestinians, such as women and girls, survivors of gender-based violence, and marginalized communities, to access food, health care, water and sanitation services, through experienced UN agencies and civil society organizations. Canadian officials are closely monitoring the situation in the region, and remain closely engaged with the United Nations, other governments and international organizations. Canada continues to call on Israeli and Palestinian authorities to take every step to protect the most vulnerable, including women and children, as they are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Canada remains strongly committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and to a two-state solution achieved through direct negotiations between the parties. This includes Israel’s right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries and free from terrorism, and the creation of a sovereign, democratic, and territorially contiguous Palestinian state.

Open for signature
May 7, 2020, at 3:26 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
September 4, 2020, at 3:26 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Paul Manly (Nanaimo—Ladysmith)
October 6, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00080)
Government response tabled
November 19, 2020
Photo - Paul Manly
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia