A wounded Palestinian is evacuated during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border east of Gaza City May 14, 2018. (Mohammed Salem/REUTERS)

Canada ‘deeply concerned’ by Gaza violence, says Freeland

Share

Canada is “deeply concerned” by the violence in the Gaza Strip, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted Monday after Israeli troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters on the border with Israel.

In the bloodiest single day for Palestinians since 2014, Palestinian Health Ministry officials said 58 protesters were killed and 2,700 injured by live gunfire, tear gas or other means.

At least five of the fatalities were children with the number of child casualties in Gaza since the protests began more than six weeks ago now surpassing 1,000, humanitarian group Save the Children reported.

Monday’s bloodshed drew calls for restraint from some countries, including France and Britain, and stronger criticism from others, with regional power Turkey calling it “a massacre”.

“We are saddened by deaths and injuries that occurred today and over past weeks,” Freeland tweeted. “It is inexcusable that civilians, journalists and children have been victims.”

All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to ensure civilians are protected, Freeland added, drawing a furious backlash from dozens of people who criticized the Liberal government for not calling on Israel to end its use of deadly force against Palestinian protesters.

“In statements about #Palestinian victims in #Gaza/#WestBank why don’t you ever condemn Israel for brutality / use of lethal force against people who are protesting?” tweeted one user.

“Minister Freeland – your use of the passive voice to describe the deaths in Gaza is chilling and misleading. Gazan civilians were shot and killed by Israeli fire,” added another.

“Oh, come on, Canada has to condemn Israel for this massacre, this flagrant abuse of human rights. These are Palestinian men, women & children killed by Israeli military. Stop glossing over the facts. Canada can’t be for human rights in one country & not in the other,” chimed in another critic.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the Israeli military’s actions as self-defence of his country’s borders.

A Palestinian demonstrator uses a sling to hurl stones at Israeli troops during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border east of Gaza City May 14, 2018. (Mohammed Salem/REUTERS)

The Israeli military said in a statement: “Rioters hurled firebombs and explosive devices at the security fence and Israeli troops”. The soldiers’ response, it said, was in accordance with “standard operating procedures”.

Netanyahu blamed the violence on Gaza’s ruling Hamas group.

“Every country has an obligation to defend its borders,” he wrote on Twitter. “The Hamas terrorist organization declares it intends to destroy Israel and sends thousands to breach the border fence in order to achieve this goal. We will continue to act with determination to protect our sovereignty and citizens.”

Hamas denied instigating the violence.

A senior Hamas leader, Khalil Al-Hayya, said at a border encampment that Monday’s protest was timed to coincide with the “deplorable crime of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem”.

Senior White House Adviser Ivanka Trump and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stand next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. (Ronen Zvulun/REUTERS)

The timing of events was deeply symbolic to Israel and the Palestinians.

The U.S. said it chose the date officially move its embassy to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment.

But Tuesday also marks the anniversary of what Palestinians call their “nakba,” or catastrophe, a reference to the uprooting of hundreds of thousands who fled or were expelled during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation. A day of mourning and mass funerals was planned Tuesday.

A majority of Gaza’s 2 million people are descendants of refugees, and the protests have been billed as the “Great March of Return” to long-lost homes in what is now Israel.

A general view of the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 13, 2018. (Ammar Awad/REUTERS)

Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they hope to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move that is not recognized internationally, as its “eternal and indivisible capital”.

Most countries say the status of Jerusalem – a sacred city to Jews, Muslims and Christians – should be determined in a final peace settlement and that moving their embassies now would prejudge any such deal.

Ottawa too has no intention of following Washington’s example in officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the Canadian embassy there from Tel Aviv, Freeland said in December 2017.

‘‘Canada is a steadfast ally and friend of Israel and friend to the Palestinian people,” Freeland said in a statement, following President Trump’s decision last year to reverse decades of U.S. policy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“Canada’s longstanding position is that the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only as part of a general settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute.”

Canada is committed the goal of a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel,” Freeland said at the time.

Peace talks aimed at finding a two-state solution to the conflict have been frozen since 2014.

With files from Reuters and The Associated Press

Share
Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in International, Politics

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

5 comments on “Canada ‘deeply concerned’ by Gaza violence, says Freeland
  1. S Fernandes says:

    when it comes to Israel everyone runs for cover. SHAMEFUL

  2. Mohammed Dajoolleolamah says:

    Canada should not be concerned when armed bands bring their children to a riot and expect that everyone will be safe. The phillistines should stop this barbaric practice of exposing their kids to such violence.

  3. Samia Hadj says:

    Canada cannot just be “deeply concerned”, what is happening in Palestine is simple a genocide and Canada has to act not only whisper some banalities such as this statement. When it came to sanctioning Russia or Iran, Canada did not hesitate but now that it concerns the zionists Canada does not react as it should. Shame on Cana and all world leaders who know perfectly that Israel is commiting war crimes since years, violating over 80 UN resolutions, occupying a land that does not belong to them, and still no one sanctions them, at contrary they keep funding this zionist war criminal.

  4. Peter Ashcroft says:

    The Gaza Conflict is one in which both Hamas and Israel are responsible for both excessive instigation and retaliation. Both Israel and Palestine must co-exist peacefully.

    Jerusalem is a separate issue. It should have been put under the control of the United Nations as it is the major centre of all three major faiths.
    Tel Aviv and Ramallah should remain the capital cities of Israel and Palestine.

  5. Bert Powell says:

    As a Canadian doing volunteer work in Africa I am embarrassed by my PM’s silence on the events in Gaza. Canada looks like a coward, afraid to take a position. Our European allies don’t seem to have difficulty standing up and being counted. Why do we have to duck?