Toronto, ON - JSpaceCanada is deeply saddened and horrified by the escalation in violence between the IDF and militants in Gaza. Israeli military forces have conducted operations in Gaza in response to rocket attacks perpetrated by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as a result of the death of Khader Adnan. Adnan is believed to be a senior member of PIJ, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by multiple governments, including the government of Canada. He died following an 86-day hunger strike in an Israeli jail, in protest against being arrested and detained without trial.

Thus far, 12 Palestinians have been killed in IDF strikes: five women, four children, and three known militants. Three Israeli citizens were wounded, none killed. In a stunning and troubling reversal of established practice, the IDF has not issued any statement regretting the loss of life at this time.

The IDF’s initial limited response has been inflamed following the condemnation of a ceasefire brokered by Egypt, Qatar, and the UN by Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has himself previously been convicted of supporting an extreme right-wing terrorist organization, Kach. Ben-Gvir and his Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party announced a boycott of Knesset votes in response to the ceasefire.

“Make no mistake, the purpose of this escalation in Gaza is to strengthen the coalition and keep Netanyahu and his extremist allies in power.” said Joe Roberts, Chair of JSpaceCanada. “While Israel, like any sovereign country, has the right to defend itself, these raids do nothing to keep Israelis or Palestinians safe and only serve to strengthen the resolve of militant organizations. It is the innocent civilians on all sides — those most vulnerable — who lose the most.”

Said Roberts “It is important that we fight back against the creeping extremism and violence coming from the current Israeli government. We have serious concerns and questions as to whether this operation protects Israeli citizens. This government has been looking for any opportunity to distract the hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting its antidemocratic policy agenda, and it appears that they are willing to put Israeli soldiers and citizens in danger to do so.” 

At JSpaceCanada, our thoughts are with the people of Israel and Gaza — including so many of our own friends, families, and partners — who are living through this nightmare.

JSpaceCanada unequivocally condemns both the killing of innocent women and children by the IDF and the indiscriminate rocket attacks on civilians perpetrated by the PIJ.

“There is no military solution that will solve a political crisis, and these escalations serve only to cause devastation and fear for both Palestinians and Israelis.” said Roberts. 

“We urge the Canadian government to recommit to working towards a negotiated and just two-state solution and play an active role in peacemaking in the region. With the threat of a multifront conflict looming, lives are at stake and international pressure is of the essence to bring down the temperature and restore the status quo.”