‘It is a Real Thing’ – Canada to Halt Arms Sales to Israel

Canada's Foreign Minister Mélanie Joey. (Photo: Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The move comes after lawmakers voted 204 – 117 in favor of a non-binding motion to stop the weapons sales after a lengthy debate on Monday.

Canada will cease all future arms exports to Israel, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has said.

The move comes after lawmakers voted 204 – 117 in favor of a non-binding motion to stop the weapons sales after a lengthy debate on Monday, the Anadolu news agency reported.

“It is a real thing,” Joly told the Toronto Star newspaper on Tuesday.

The original motion was for a weapons sales suspension but that was changed to an outright ban.

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Also included in the motion was a clause that called for support of the eventual “establishment of the State of Palestine” in concert with Canada’s international partners, Anadolu reported.

Canada had earlier placed a temporary suspension on export permits for millions of dollars worth of military goods and technology, over possible human rights violations.

Existing Contracts

But there was some confusion previously as Global Affairs Canada continued to receive applications on arms exports to Israel and they were reviewed on a case-to-case basis, the Star reported.

Joly, however, reportedly insisted that after the Monday vote calling for the weapons ban, the Canadian government decided to honor the pledge.

Canada’s Defense Minister Bill Blair said Joly will decide how the ban is enforced.

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“There are a number of existing contracts that are already in place, but this was a going-forward basis, I think that’s how the minister’s looking at it,” Blair reportedly told the Star.

“There has been a lot of concern expressed with respect to … lethal military sales to Israel during the conflict,” he was quoted as saying.

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East called the amended motion “watered-down” in a statement, but that it was “nonetheless a small step forward for ending Canadian complicity in Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza.”

“While the final motion adopted by Parliament no longer called for the total suspension of all trade in military goods and technology with Israel, it called on Canada to cease the further authorization and transfer of arms exports to Israel to ensure compliance with Canada’s arms export regime,” the group said in a statement.

“This policy is critically urgent in light of evidence that Canada exported a record-breaking $28.5 Million in military goods to Israel in the first three months after October 7,” the statement added.

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Earlier this month, a coalition of Palestinian Canadians and human rights lawyers filed a lawsuit against the federal government seeking to stop it from permitting the export of military goods and technology to Israel.

The coalition sought  “to hold the Canadian government to its legal obligations, both under international and domestic law, to ensure Canadian arms are not used to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity”, said Henry Off, a member of Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights in a statement.

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UNRWA Funding

Last week Canada announced that it is resuming support to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) after a decision to pause funding because of Israeli allegations against the agency.

Canada’s Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussen, said the decision came as a result of a desire to protect civilians.

“Canada is resuming its funding to UNRWA so more can be done to respond to the urgent needs of Palestinian civilians,” he said.

A statement by the Global Affairs of Canada said it “commends the independent review of UNRWA currently underway, led by Catherine Colonna, and anticipates reviewing the report assessing UNRWA’s neutrality mechanisms.”

Staggering Death Toll

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 31,923 Palestinians have been killed, and 74,096 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

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Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

(PC, Anadolu)

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