On the day commemorating 70 years since the Palestinian Nakba, and on the day a ceremony was held to mark the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israeli “defense” forces carried out a slaughter of Gazans participating in the Great March of Return.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health (as of 19:30 GMT):

  • 55 killed, including 7 minors and 1 paramedic
  • 2,771 injured, including 225 minors, 11 journalists, 17 paramedics
  • 130 in serious and critical condition
  • 1,359 shot by Israeli soldiers using live ammunition.

Despite this horrific toll, the reaction of the Canadian government has been muted and entirely inadequate.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland tweeted only the following, calling on “all parties” to ensure civilians are protected, rather than calling on Israel to stop firing on civilians:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made no public statement on the massacre, and Global Affairs Canada has made no official statement on the massacre.

To its credit, the NDP has criticized the slaughter:

On Monday, Canada’s New Democrats strongly condemned the killings of protesters in Gaza by Israeli Defence Forces and urged the Liberal government to take a more active stance for peace and human rights. According to numerous news reports, at least 55 Palestinians in Gaza were killed and around 2,000 were injured Monday by the Israeli military in demonstrations near the Gaza-Israel border.

“The use of live ammunition against protestors and resulting deaths are clear violations of international law and human rights,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “Our government has been shamefully silent on recent developments in Gaza, and the Prime Minister should condemn the violence, call on Israel to cease violations of international law, and support an independent investigation into these deaths.”

The protests follow the decision by US President, Donald Trump, to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the disputed city as the capital of Israel. Trump’s move has been widely criticized by the international community, as this move will further destabilize the region and hinder the peace process. The Liberal government has refused to condemn Trump’s decision.

“The decision by the US government to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is reckless and flies in the face of international law, not least since East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory,” said Hélène Laverdière, the NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs. “All those responsible for the outrageous killings in Gaza today must be held to account. The Canadian government must call on the government of Israel to respect international law, condemn illegal settlements, and finally stand up for the rights of Palestinians as well as the rights of Israelis.”

Gaza has been under a total land, sea and air blockade since 2007, a situation that was described by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as a form of collective punishment, which is a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions. Palestinians have been under Israeli military occupation since 1967. Illegal killings, arbitrary and abusive detention, forced displacement, restrictions on movement, the expansion of illegal settlements, collective punishment and institutionalized discrimination have characterized this occupation that has persisted for over half a century. The NDP believes that Canada must do more towards a real, long-term, just peace for Palestinians and Israelis, and must call on the government of Israel to end this occupation.

The Government of Canada cannot stay silent about this latest massacre in Gaza. Use the contact information below to call on the government to publicly condemn the Israeli military attacks on unarmed protesters in Gaza, demand accountability, and pressure Israel to immediately end the blockade of Gaza.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Twitter: @JustinTrudeau

Email:  justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

Ottawa Office

Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
(No postage required)

Phone: 1-613-992-4211

Constituency Office

Phone: 1-514 277-6020

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland

Twitter: @cafreeland

Email: chrystia.freeland@international.gc.ca

Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
125 Sussex Dr
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 0G2

Phone:  1-343-203-1851

Ottawa Office

Chrystia Freeland
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
(No postage required)

Phone: 1-613-992-5234

Constituency Office

Phone: 1-416-928-1451

Edmonton-area Liberal MPs

Amarjeet Sohi (Edmonton Mill Woods)

Twitter: @SohiAmarjeet

Email: Amarjeet.Sohi@parl.gc.ca

Ottawa Office

Amarjeet Sohi
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
(No postage required)

Phone: 1-613-992-1013

Constituency Office

Phone: 1-780-497-3524

Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton Centre)

Twitter: @R_Boissonnault

Email: Randy.Boissonnault@parl.gc.ca

Ottawa Office

Randy Boissonnault
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
(No postage required)

Phone: 1-613-992-4524

Constituency Office

Phone: 1-780-442-1888

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