JSpaceCanada expresses its deep concern and sadness over the recent surge in violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank. The far-right Israeli government's actions towards annexation and deepening occupation are alarming and contribute to the cycle of worsening conflict and injustice.

In the past 24 hours, there have been horrifying acts of violence, including a Palestinian gunman ambushing and killing two Israeli brothers and an ensuing pogrom carried out by Israeli settlers against the Palestinian town of Huwara in which close to 100 Palestinians were wounded and one was killed. We also mourn the death of American citizen Elan Ganeles in another shooting attack yesterday.

Over the past week, the Netanyahu government and its extremist ministers have taken significant steps towards annexation.Granting primary authority over the occupied West Bank to Finance Minister and settler leader Bezalel Smotrich extends government, not military powers into the West Bank, a move tantamount to de jure annexation. The security cabinet has also "legalized" previously unauthorized settler outposts, advanced the planning and construction of over 7,000 new settlement housing units, and scheduled a meeting to advance controversial settlement construction plans.

As Canadians who support Israel, peace, and democracy, JSpaceCanada urges the Trudeau government to take strong vocal role in reducing tensions to prevent further escalation. Canada's voice is critical, and the government’s efforts at leadership have not been enough as the situation spirals out of control.

The extremist coalition of Netanyahu is demonstrating that polite protestations or vague agreements will not stop them from their actions towards annexation and assault on liberal democracy and independent judiciary. Only through clear, firm leadership can Canada help curb the escalation of violence and terror, defend Israeli and Palestinian lives, and ensure Israel's future as a Jewish and democratic nation.