Canada Condemns Violence in West Bank, Calls for Israeli Intervention

Palestinian boys scramble up a hill in a tense area near several unauthorized Israeli outposts on the edge of the Palestinian village of Qaryout in the northern West Bank, Nov. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

In a recent statement, Global Affairs Canada expressed grave concerns over the escalating “extremist settler violence” against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The Canadian government is urging Israel to take immediate action to curb these incidents and safeguard Palestinian communities.

Escalation of Tensions

According to the statement released on Monday evening, “Canada strongly condemns the extremist settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.” The department also highlighted the alarming reports of Palestinian communities being forcibly removed from their lands.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly shared the statement on X, underscoring the detrimental impact of this violence on the pursuit of a two-state solution. “This violence negatively impacts efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution,” she stated.

The UN’s Observations

The United Nations has reported a surge in settler attacks since the October 7 assault by Hamas, labeled a terrorist organization by Canada. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) noted 256 settler attacks against Palestinians in the last six weeks. Over 1,000 individuals have been displaced due to settler violence and access restrictions.

Reports of Violence and Displacement

The Associated Press reports that Palestinian towns have suffered raids, property damage, and forced evictions. Olive trees, vital for the local economy, have been destroyed, and residents have faced physical assaults. Nine Palestinian deaths due to settler actions have been reported by Palestinian health authorities, with Israeli army stating that troops must act against law-breaking Israeli citizens.

Thousands of displaced Palesntinians travelled along the road from the north of the Gaza Strip toward the south following a deadly strike at Al-Shifa Hospital on Friday. ‘The situation has become really bad. If the hospital is hit, what safe places are left? Where do we go?’ said Ahmed Al-Shaikh Khalil, who was fleeing with his mother.

Canada’s Stance on Israeli Settlements

Global Affairs Canada reaffirmed the country’s position on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, considering them a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. “As has been the position of successive Canadian governments, Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967,” the department stated, emphasizing that the settlements pose a significant barrier to achieving a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Commitment to Peace and Self-Determination

The Canadian government remains committed to supporting the Palestinian right to self-determination. “Canada continues to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and remains committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region,” Global Affairs added, advocating for a two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

A Palestinian child wounded in an Israeli strike is rushed into Nasser hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, November 14, 2023. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

The Human Cost

The conflict has resulted in significant loss of life and displacement. Following the Hamas attack on October 7, approximately 1,200 people were killed, and about 240 were taken hostage. In the subsequent weeks, over 11,400 fatalities have been reported in the Gaza Strip, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

A Call for Action

In its statement, Canada calls on the Government of Israel to intervene, protect the Palestinian population, and hold those responsible for the violence accountable under the law. This situation highlights the complexities and ongoing challenges in achieving peace in the Middle East, with Canada positioning itself as an advocate for a peaceful resolution and the rights of all parties involved.


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