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Urgent appeal to Canadian Government: Council of Canadians’ letter on the humanitarian crisis in Palestine and Israel

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Joly,

We are writing on behalf of the Council of Canadians, including 150,000 supporters and 45 chapters across the country, to express our deep concern about the tragic loss of human life and growing humanitarian crisis in Palestine and Israel. We are asking your government to press for:

  • an immediate ceasefire,
  • the release of all hostages,
  • urgent increased access to Gaza for humanitarian aid, and
  • an end to the longstanding blockade of Gaza by the Israeli government.

We add our voices to these calls out of the grief we feel for the 1400+ Israelis killed during the October 7 massacre carried out by Hamas; the 7,000+ Palestinians (including 3,000 children) who have been killed by Israeli bombardments and the ongoing siege of Gaza, and the 200+ Israelis still believed to be held hostage by Hamas. We unequivocally condemn the targeting of innocent Palestinian and Israeli civilians.

Nothing can justify this violence and your government’s calls for a “humanitarian pause” are simply not enough to stop the bloodshed. The only option, supported by human rights groups across the globe, is a complete ceasefire.

In Gaza, nothing less than a full ceasefire will allow for the restoration of essential services and spare the lives of thousands more innocent people. The United Nations has warned that Gaza is in danger of completely running out of clean water, causing people to dehydrate to death and increasing the risk of waterborne diseases. As an organization with a long history of advocacy around the human right to water and public health care, we know that the near complete collapse of Gaza’s water and health care systems, caused by Israel’s bombings, blockades, and import bans, will increase the death toll and have impacts for generations. This conflict has not happened in a vacuum. The decades-long Israeli occupation has long compromised human rights in Gaza and the West Bank and it must end. This includes the 16- year-long illegal blockade of Gaza.

Canada must join the growing local and international calls for an immediate ceasefire – including from at least 23 elected members of your own party. Your government has a moral and legal obligation to prevent the unfolding of an even greater humanitarian catastrophe and further loss of life.

We call on you to take these steps immediately.

The Council of Canadians