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e-3031 (Foreign affairs)

Initiated by Michaela Lavis from Toronto, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) are unlawful under international law, as recognised by the United Nations Security Council, including in UN Security Resolution 2334 which reaffirmed that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law;
  • Israeli occupation authorities have issued a decision to forcibly evict 400 Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem;
  • Israeli forces have demolished 176 Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem since the beginning of this year and approved the establishment of 17,000 settlement units in Jerusalem; 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, Residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
- call on Israel to stop its eviction of the Palestinian families in Sheik Jarrah, and its carrying out of the announced land settlement of title and registration policy in occupied East Jerusalem which will result in the permanent appropriation of Palestinian land by the State of Israel in flagrant violation of international law; and
- take steps required to stop Israel’s violations of international law, including its continued building of settlements and forced displacement in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and to end Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

The Government of 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. Canada will always support efforts for a two-state solution.

Canada firmly believes in the right of Palestinians and Israelis to live with dignity, without fear, and with their human rights respected. We support the principle of “two states for two peoples”, with both Israelis and Palestinians living within secure borders that are mutually respected and recognized.

Canada remains gravely concerned by the continued expansion of settlements, demolitions, and evictions, including the ongoing cases in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. The continued expansion of settlements, demolitions and evictions constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace. These actions impact families and livelihoods, do not serve peace, and are a violation of international law. Canada calls on Israel to stop settlement activities, including those in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Consistent with our longstanding position, Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967. 

Canada has expressed its concerns regarding settlements, including at the UN Security Council “Session on the devastating violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza” on May 16, 2021, the UN General Assembly on May 20, 2021, on the Situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian Question and the UN Human Rights Council Special Session to address the “Grave human rights situation in Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” on May 27, 2021.

The indiscriminate barrage of rockets fired by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad into Israel was completely unacceptable. They put the safety of civilians at great risk. The material and financial support to these groups must also end. Canada supports Israel's right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries, and its right to assure its own security. This right also comes with the immense responsibility and obligation to act in accordance with international law.

For decades, this conflict has caused much pain to both Palestinian and Israeli families and impacted the social fabric in the region. Mutual recognition and respect are critical foundations for a lasting peace. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and with Israeli and Palestinian youth and future generations top of our mind, Canada urges all parties to renew their commitment to peace and security. With this in mind, Canada will continue to work with Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the international community to break the cycle of violence, loss of life and suffering.

Open for signature
December 9, 2020, at 5:19 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
March 9, 2021, at 5:19 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches—East York)
April 29, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00891)
Government response tabled
June 14, 2021
Photo - Nathaniel Erskine-Smith
Beaches—East York
Liberal Caucus