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Gaza 20/20: Call to Canadian Government for Sanctions until the Blockade on Gaza is Lifted
02، Dec 2018

November 29, 2018, International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians.
100 organizations including human rights, international justice, civil society, faith groups and other civil society organizations.

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland;
Last year, the UN warned that Gaza is expected to be uninhabitable by the year 2020. In the deeply worrying report, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities notes that Gaza’s trajectory of “de-development” has accelerated. For the nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, Israel’s persecution and collective punishment has already made life there unbearable.
We bring to your attention Al-Haq’s Gaza 20/20 campaign which is internationally focused on bringing consciousness to the grave situation, urging governments to call the Israeli government to account.
In Canada, Just Peace Advocates has partnered with Al Haq to bring this message to you personally, with a call to the Canadian government to pursue accountability through both international and domestic law.
International Law: Under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, all High Contracting Parties (which includes Canada), are required to take action to ensure respect for the Convention “in all circumstances.”
Domestic Law: Under the Special Economic Measures Act, the Canadian government can impose sanctions when “gross and systematic human rights violations have been committed in a foreign state.”

A 2017 EKOS poll indicated that two-thirds of Canadians indicated support for sanctions on Israel.

On October 22, 2018, Canadian law professor Michael Lynk, who serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, issued his most recent report to the UN General Assembly. He pointed out the continued deterioration of almost all aspects of life in Gaza over the past year, as the Palestinian people struggle with the impact of an 11 year blockade of air, sea and land access by Israel. He also highlighted the excessive use of Israeli military force against protesters, noting in the context of an occupation such as that in Gaza, killings resulting from the unlawful use of force may constitute willful killings, a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, and that grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions are categorized by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as war crimes.

The Special Rapporteur’s report calls on Israel to take a number of important steps, including:

• End the blockade and closure of Gaza, lifting all restrictions on imports and exports as well as on the movement of people, and facilitate full access to medical care, consistent with genuine Israeli security concerns;
• Ensure that regulations governing the use of force for Israeli security forces are in strict compliance with international standards, with particular attention to the use of deadly force; and
• Ensure accountability for alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israeli security forces, with particular attention to the demonstrations in Gaza;

The Special Rapporteur further recommends that the international community:

(a) In line with Common Article 1 to the Geneva Conventions, take all necessary measures to respect and ensure respect by Israel, and all other relevant parties, to the solemn obligations of international humanitarian law;

(b) Seek to hold Israel to the international standards by which all states are to be held, including the prohibition on annexation; and

(c) Ensure full accountability of Israeli political and military officials who are responsible for grave breaches of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory;

As civil society organizations, we come together to call the Canadian government to take all possible action to address this mounting human rights and humanitarian crisis under relevant Canadian laws, including the Special Economic Measures Act, and specifically to live up to our country’s responsibilities under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
As a minimum, we call on the Canadian government to:

publicly condemn Israeli security operations in Gaza and demand an end to all breaches of international humanitarian law and international human rights law;
• insist that Israel end its blockade of Gaza; and
• implement an arms embargo, and press for a comprehensive arms embargo at the level of the UN Security Council; as well as,
• impose a ban on all goods originating from illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory entering Canada as well as a ban on Canadian companies operating in illegal settlements or trading in settlement goods.

Signed by the following human rights, civic society, faith, labour, student and other groups.

Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement pour une Paix Juste
Al-Haq (Palestine)
Canadian Arab Federation (CAF)
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)
Amnesty International-Canada
Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Canadian Friends of Sabeel (CFOS)
The Canadian Palestinian Foundation of Quebec
Canadian Federation of Students Ontario
United Jewish People's Order - Canada
Solidarity For Palestinian Human Rights-Queen’s University
Palestinian and Jewish Unity, Montreal
Canada Palestine Association
Regina Peace Council
Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC)
Encounter-EMEM for Israel-Palestine Peace Activities
Socialist Project
International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS)
The Council of Canadians Montreal Chapter
The Council of Canadians London Chapter
Nonviolence International, Washington
Holy Land Trust, Bethlehem
Camp Micah: Leadership for Peace and Justice for High School Students in South Western Ontario

Justice For Palestinians, Calgary
Palestine Solidarity Working Group - Sudbury
Boycott from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)
Oakville Palestinian Rights Association (OPRA)
Project Ploughshares Saskatoon
Solidarity For Palestinian Human Rights- Concordia
Independent Jewish Voices - Victoria Chapter
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ)
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Canadian Peace Congress (CPC)
Palestinian Canadian Congress
Canadian Union of Postal Workers/Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses
Student Christian Movement of Canada (SCM Canada)
Mid-Islanders for Just and Peace in the Middle East-Vancouver Island
No More Silence
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Ontario
Toronto BDS Action
Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation (BBCF)
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) Victoria
Jewish Voices - Winnipeg
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee--University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Association
People for Peace, London
Solidarity With Palestine, St. John’s
Quebec BDS
Socialist Action
NDP Socialist Caucus
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Al Quds Committee
Actions for Palestine-Toronto
United for Palestine-Toronto
No Way to Treat a Child- Toronto/GTA
Canadian Council for Justice and Peace
Niagara BDS Coalition
Ontario Public Interest Research Group-Carleton
Friends of Kashmir Committee Canada
Lanark Action for Social Change
Toronto Action for Change
The Jewish Liberation Theology Institute, Hamilton
VANA Saskatoon (Veterans Against Nuclear Arms Saskatoon)
Conscience Canada.
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) - Canada
Women in Solidarity with Palestine (WSP) - Toronto
Catholics for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land (CJPHL) Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
National United Network for Justice and Peace in Israel Palestine
Former Canadian Eccumenical Accompaniers (Eccumenical Accompaniment Program Palestine Israel-EAPPI)
Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Ryerson Chapter
Palestine Study Group: Vernon - Kelowna
Amnesty International: Kelowna Group
New Socialists
Friends of Palestine at Trinity Western University
Syrian Arab Association of Canada
Mennonite Church Manitoba Working Group for the Palestine-Israel Resolution.
Idle No More-Ontario
Bathurst United Church of Canada
University of Waterloo Students for Palestinian Human Rights (UW SPHR)
De-Colonizer, Israel
Canadian Boat to Gaza
Quill Plains (Wynyard) Chapter, Council of Canadians
Canada Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet), Vancouver
Palestine Solidarity Network – Edmonton
Beit Zatoun - Toronto
Zatoun, Fair Trade olive oil from Palestine
Rumbo a Gaza
Parkdale, Communist Party of Canada
Faculty for Palestine
Council of Canadians, Peterborough and Kawarthas Chapter
McGill Students for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR)
Kia Ora Gaza (New Zealand/Aotearoa)
Child and Youth Care Student Union, Ryerson
Science for Peace, Toronto
Buycott Palestine
Earth Chronicle Productions
Al-Haadi Musalla
Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine
Educators for Justice, Waterloo District Catholic School Board

Copied to:
Marc-André Blanchard, Head of Canada’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Justice and Human Rights Government Standing Committee c/o Chair, Anthony Housefather
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Senate Standing Committee, c/o Chair A. Raynell Adreychuk
Human Rights Senate Standing Committee, c/o Chair Wanda Elaine Thomas Bernard
Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Group c/o Chair, MP Tabbara
Elizabeth May, Leader of Green Party of Canada
Andrew Scheer, Leader of Conservative Party of Canada
Mario Beaulieu Acting Head of the Bloc Québécois
Jagmeet Singh, Leader of NDP
Hélène Laverdière, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic
Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada Foreign Affairs Critic
Luc Thériault, Bloc Québécois Foreign Affairs Critic
Deborah Lyons, Canadian Ambassador to Israel
Douglas Proudfoot, Representative of Canada to the Palestinian Authority
Nabil Maroof, Chief Representative, Palestinian General Delegation, Palestinian Delegation to Canada