As recognized by the international community, the World Federalist Movement – Canada (WFM-Canada) views the October 7th, 2023 Hamas attacks on Israeli citizens as atrocities (read WFM-Canada’s first statement). Israel has a right to defend itself within the parameters of international law. Over the past month, WFM-Canada has been concerned by the escalation in violence. The government of Canada has unequivocally condemned the October 7 atrocities on Israeli soil. It must also condemn Israel’s indiscriminate retaliatory wounding and killing of innocent Palestinians, including attacks on Palestinians by Israeli citizens in the West Bank; a humanitarian pause is not enough.
Israeli Defence Forces claim they are targeting only Hamas terrorists, but international observers confirm that IDF missiles are destroying large areas of Gaza, endangering, wounding and killing civilians indiscriminately in contravention of international law. Tens of thousands of buildings in Gaza, more than a quarter of all buildings in northern Gaza, have been reportedly damaged or destroyed.
The essentials for survival in Gaza, including medical services are being blocked. Residents have nowhere to go. The minimum 100 truckloads of relief urgently needed each day to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Gaza cannot be delivered. Without intervention, thousands of women, children and men will die from lack of food, water and medical necessities. This is in addition to those killed outright during bombardments.
Now is the time for our government to use its voice in defence of fundamental principles of universality in international law. Atrocities, war crimes and the collective punishment of civilians are never justifiable.
We invite all our members to join us in calling on the government of Canada to:
- Assist ongoing efforts for the safe return of all hostages taken since Oct. 7th, 2023;
- Support an immediate ceasefire, and support the October 7 statement of UN Secretary-General Guterres calling on all the warring parties to adhere to international humanitarian law;
- Condemn the recent use of the veto by the United States on ceasefire and humanitarian aid resolutions at the UN Security Council;
- Demand that safe corridors be established, maintained and monitored to ensure civilians have safe passage to safe areas;
- Support the immediate delivery of food, water, medicine, and shelter to save those lives now at risk in the emerging humanitarian catastrophe;
- Support the International Criminal Court’s investigation into mass atrocities and human rights abuses in the conflict zone, and urge states to cooperate in full with the inquiry;
- Condemn dehumanizing language by any party to the conflict as unacceptable; and
- Reaffirm Canada’s commitment to meaningful peace negotiations upon establishing a ceasefire.
WFM-C calls on the government of Canada to adapt its diplomatic and foreign policy position immediately, to one that reflects a balanced treatment of Israeli and Palestinian citizens in this conflict.
For sustainable peace to be achieved, all parties in this widening dispute must regulate and temper their actions in conformance with international law. Canada must show leadership in this effort, not simply continue down a path created by our allies.