Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) applauds the work and recommendations of the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group’s (CPPFG) following its March 30th to April 6th educational trip to Palestine. The delegation report, issued late last month, provides a detailed account of the MPs’ itinerary and experiences, while highlighting the struggle of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.
The CPPFG sent its report to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, with a number of recommendations for the government, including:
1) That the government should work with international partners to:
- Appoint a Special Envoy to help protect the human rights of Palestinian children living under Israeli military law;
- Hold Israeli military authorities accountable to their obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law;
- Keep working to encourage all parties to take necessary diplomatic efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace for Palestinians and Israelis.
2) That the government should continue to increase its support for the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).
3) That the government should work to bring about a halt to Israeli settlement construction in the Palestinian Territories.
CJPME President Thomas Woodley reacted saying,
“This report confirms the brutal reality of Israel’s military occupation and suppression of Palestinian human rights. The Canadian government cannot afford to ignore these principled and timely recommendations.”
As such, CJPME calls the government to heed the report and begin to seriously address Israel’s human rights abuses and violations of international law.
CJPME commends the delegation from the CPPFG for making the trip, making observations on the ground, and taking a principled stand for Palestinian human rights. CJPME has long encouraged members of Parliament to visit the West Bank and other Palestinian territories to gain a better perspective on the harsh realities on the ground for Palestinians. CJPME is hopeful that the bi-partisan CPPFG delegation will be able to positively influence the Canadian government to foster policies that facilitate a just and peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.