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e-4652 (Foreign affairs)

Initiated by Nir Hagigi from Barrie, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • The ongoing escalation between Israel and Palestine has led to a significant loss of life, including the tragic deaths of innocent children and widespread suffering among civilians;
  • As of October 23rd, the ongoing conflict has led to a staggering loss of life, with over 5,000 Palestinians (62% of the fatalities being women and children) and 1,400 Israelis tragically losing their lives. Additionally, more than one million civilians have been displaced, and the number of injuries has reached a devastating count, with over 12,500 Palestinians and 3,400 Israelis being severely wounded;
  • Article 3 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ratified by both Canada and Israel, unequivocally affirms that every individual possesses the inherent rights to life, liberty, and personal security;
  • Canada has a proud tradition of promoting human rights and diplomacy on the global stage, and we believe that the Canadian government's active involvement can play a pivotal role in advocating for a ceasefire and diplomatic efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution to this enduring conflict;
  • The conflict has regrettably seen an alarming rise in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia accompanying the outbreaks of violence.
We, the undersigned, student from various universities, organizations, and backgrounds, call upon the Government of Canada to
1. Take a leading role in advocating for an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
2. Support and actively engage in diplomatic efforts aimed at finding a peaceful and just resolution to this enduring conflict.
3. Advocate for the immediate termination of the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip.
4. Encourage the entrance of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

Canada stands firmly with the Israeli and Palestinian peoples in their right to live in peace, security, with dignity and without fear. Canada mourns every Israeli and Palestinian innocent life which has been lost in this conflict and expresses condolences to all families and communities affected by the violence.

Canada unequivocally condemns Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel, the appalling loss of life, and the heinous acts of violence perpetrated in those attacks, including sexual violence. Canada condemns Hamas’ unacceptable treatment of hostages and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages. Canada recognizes Israel’s right to exist and right to defend itself. In defending itself, Israel must respect international humanitarian law. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected.

Canada remains deeply concerned by the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the diminishing safe space for civilians, and the ongoing risks to all Palestinian civilians. The price of defeating Hamas cannot be the continuous suffering of all Palestinian civilians.

Canada supported the previous pause in hostilities that allowed for the release of more than 100 hostages and supported an increase in humanitarian access to affected civilians. Canada wants to see this pause resumed and supports urgent international efforts towards a sustainable ceasefire.

Canada voted in favour of a resolution adopted on December 12, 2023, by the United Nations General Assembly calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. Canada supported the ceasefire referred to in this resolution as a necessary step to protect civilians, to allow for the entry of important humanitarian relief into Gaza, and to allow foreign nationals, including Canadians, to leave Gaza. In explaining its support for the resolution, Canada reiterated that this ceasefire cannot be one-sided. Hamas must release all hostages, stop using civilians as human shields, and it must lay down its weapons. There is no role for Hamas in the future governance of Gaza.

Canada supports Palestinians’ right to self-determination. Canada opposes the forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, the re-occupation of Gaza, any reduction in territory, and any use of siege or blockade. Canada emphasizes that Gaza must no longer be used as a platform for terrorism.

The rapid and unimpeded access of humanitarian relief for civilians is essential. Canada will continue to work with partners towards ensuring the sustained access of humanitarian assistance for civilians, including food, water, medical care, fuel, and shelter, and access for humanitarian workers. To date, Canada has announced $60 million in humanitarian assistance to address the urgent needs of vulnerable civilians in this crisis, including a matching fund of $13.7 million that leveraged the generosity of individual Canadians. This funding will help provide food, water, emergency medical assistance, protection services and other life-saving assistance. Canada will continue to support civilians with life-saving humanitarian aid, while ensuring that no money gets into the hands of Hamas.

Canada remains committed to working with allies and partners toward a just and enduring peace in the form of a two-state solution, where Israelis and Palestinians can live securely within internationally recognized borders.

Open for signature
October 25, 2023, at 11:59 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
November 24, 2023, at 11:59 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre)
November 27, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01959)
Government response tabled
January 29, 2024
Photo - Salma Zahid
Scarborough Centre
Liberal Caucus