Call to action from the Coalition du Québec URGENCE Palestine

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Like many Quebecers, we are sickened by the horrors Israel has inflicted on the Palestinian population of Gaza over the past five months: incessant bombardments; 31 112 people killed, 7,000 missing under the rubble, 72,760 injured (as of March 11, 2024); civilian infrastructure devastated; ambulances, health workers and journalists targeted; 85% of the population displaced; the entire population plunged into acute food insecurity and in many cases starvation, and deprived of drinking water, medicine and fuel by the blockade.

In the first three months of the assault alone, 10,000 children were killed in Gaza, 20 times more than in Ukraine in 18 months (500). According to UN experts, “it is unprecedented to make an entire civilian population go hungry this completely and quickly.”

On January 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that it is plausible that Israel is committing acts of genocide in Gaza. The ICJ ordered Israel to prevent such acts and to “enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance.” But since then, the situation has worsened, and Israel is now preparing to lay siege to the city of Rafah, at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, and to expel 1.5 million people who have ultimately sought refuge there.

Canada’s position is shameful

In response to these crimes, Canada has expressed “concern” for the fate of the civilian population but continues to invoke Israel’s “right to defend itself” and refuses to condemn its countless violations of international law. Since October 2023, it has approved record levels of military exports to Israel. Canada first suspended its funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), and then reinstated it. But instead of demanding that Israel allow all humanitarian aid, available for a while now, to enter Gaza by land route via Egypt, Canada announced its participation in the maritime aid corridor, deemed ineffective notably by the UN. By its actions, Canada is complicit in Israel’s criminal assault on Gaza. Canada’s deeds speak volumes about the hypocrisy of its rhetoric.

For life, justice and peace

We call on Quebecers to support the Palestinian people’s right to life by demanding:

  • An immediate ceasefire and the free flow of humanitarian aid throughout Gaza
  • An end to direct and indirect Canadian military exports to Israel
  • The lifting of Israel’s blockade of Gaza

We also call on Quebecers to demand an end to Israel’s decades-long military occupation and colonization of Palestine, which is at the root of the current crisis. For 30 years, phony “peace processes” have led only to more dispossession, violence and humiliation for the Palestinian people. A just and lasting solution is needed now. Quebec civil society can contribute to it by joining the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.


Signatories as of today