December 7th, 2023 – Burlington: Today marks two months of deadly violence in Gaza that has killed thousands, caused civilian terror, unimaginable devastation and the decimation of Gaza’s infrastructure and essential services. On this grim anniversary, Islamic Relief Canada is calling on the Canadian government to immediately pursue all diplomatic channels to stop the violence in Gaza and take concrete actions for a sustained peace.
Over the past two months, over 16,000 Palestinians — about 70 per cent of whom are said to be women and children — have been killed from the bombing. We have heard from our teams on the ground that desperate families are running out of food and fuel, facing starvation and dehydration. People are trying to dig out survivors with their bare hands as emergency services have collapsed. This is a direct result of Israel’s total siege, which in violation of international humanitarian law, continues to collectively punish millions of innocent Palestinians.
This week, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly stated that Canada will be involved in “launching conversations about the two-state solution,” while falling short of calling for a ceasefire. Islamic Relief Canada has previously underscored that calls for humanitarian access must go hand in hand with calls for a ceasefire. In the same way, support for a long-term peace process must go hand in hand with concrete actions to put an end to the violence in the interim.
CEO Usama Khan responds, “While Canada speaks of endorsing the peace process and restarting peace conversations, it is important to recognize that we cannot have sustained peace in the absence of justice, and we cannot have justice when international humanitarian law violations are rampant, and violators are not being held to account.
Dialogue and peace talks are critical, but take time. The conflict has ensued for over seventy years, and Gaza cannot afford to wait another day, as the violence continues to amplify tenfold. In Gaza, every single hour matters. More than ever, we need a ceasefire to save lives and ensure that aid can be delivered safely.”
Islamic Relief is calling on the Canadian government to no longer delay in urgently calling for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian access to prevent further loss of life. Islamic Relief has always supported a lasting peace solution that is rooted in international law and justice – including an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories and siege of Gaza — enabling all people in the region to live in peace, safety and dignity.
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About Islamic Relief Canada
Islamic Relief Canada is a registered charity in Canada and a prominent Muslim NGO that works in more than 40 countries to provide humanitarian relief and build resilient, prosperous communities. Visit islamicrelief.ca for more information.