Lauren Roulston • Nov 1, 2023
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, the federal NDP caucus has written out a list of demands.
The NDP calls include but aren’t limited to a ceasefire.
They’re demanding Canada ends arms sales to Israel among reports of airstrikes near hospitals, schools, and yesterday a refugee camp.
Israel has defended the attack on the densely-packed refugee camp, which UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths describes as “an atrocity” in a statement.
“The world seems unable, or unwilling, to act. This cannot go on. We need a step change,” he says, noting the rising death toll in the West Bank.
Griffiths says the crisis in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory is global.
The NDP writes “Extremist right-wing settlers are harassing, threatening and killing innocent Palestinians as Israeli security forces watch. It has to stop, and these crimes must be prosecuted.”
Global Affairs Canada officials cannot confirm if Canadian weapons are being used in the latest Israeli bombardments and invasions.
One hundred thousand Canadians have written to the NDP Government, according to their letter. Released today, the letter also calls for unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza.
Nearly a million people have been made homeless in the enclave. The people in Gaza don’t have access to food, water, fuel, medicine, or sanitation.
“The more than 200 trucks which have crossed into Gaza so far following painstaking negotiations of some relief but are nowhere near enough,” says Griffiths
Many are drinking contaminated water and undergoing surgical procedures without anesthetic.
A UN General Assembly emergency resolution called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” in Gaza. The resolution passed with 120 votes in favour, 14 against, and 45 abstentions.
Canada was among the abstaining votes, another subject of NDP condemnation.
“Canada failed humanity with this vote,” says Thomas Woodley, president of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East in a press release.
“Our country is officially complacent and complicit with this terrible humanitarian catastrophe, which UN experts and scholars warn may amount to genocide,” he adds.
Griffiths also warns that failure to act now will have consequences far beyond the region.
“Canada must not abandon the principles of international law and justice. We urge you to take action today. Many lives depend on it,” reads the NDP letter.