JSpaceCanada continues to grieve the horrific terrorist massacre unleashed by Hamas against Israel this past Saturday. We reiterate our statement of absolute condemnation of the actions of this terrorist organization, that took the lives of over 1,000 Israelis (as of this writing), with thousands more wounded, and at least 130 held hostage by Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

The ongoing and relentless missiles fired by Hamas and PIJ into civilian centres are in direct violation of international law and we hold in our hearts all people in Israel affected by the violence and fear of these indiscriminate attacks.

We reiterate Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizens, and maintain that it is Israel’s right and responsibility and respond to the horrific attacks carried out by Hamas in the strongest terms possible. We call upon Israel to adhere to international law in its military response.

We are deeply concerned as we witness the beginning of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF)’s increasingly violent response in Gaza, which is endangering Palestinian civilians, and the Israeli and non-Israeli hostages being held there. 

The cutting off of electricity, water, food, and fuel is in direct violation of international law and amounts to collective punishment of millions of people, half of whom are children. 

The attacks of Saturday, October 7, 2023 - the deadliest day in Israeli history - were carried out by Hamas and its terrorist allies, and it is Hamas that must be held to account - not civilians. 

While the Israeli government has called for over one million civilians in Northern Gaza to evacuate immediately, the IDF and Israeli government both know that such an operation is logistically impossible. At the same time, Hamas’ admonishment of any evacuation is similarly irresponsible and dangerous. This has the potential to lead to a further escalation of violence and destruction, with more innocent lives lost.

We are grateful for the strong statement from Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, urging all parties to respect international humanitarian law and to provide humanitarian access to Gaza, and her clear and unequivocal statement that “Israeli and Palestinian civilians deserve to live in peace and safety.”

With this, it must be of continuing utmost importance that Canada and all international governments work through all available channels to free hostages still held in Gaza. We thank Global Affairs Canada for the work done thus far and stress the importance of keeping this goal as Canada’s top priority.

We also stress to the Minister of Foreign Affairs the need for a humanitarian corridor into Egypt, and this must include stated assurances that civilians fleeing to Egypt will be able to return to Gaza in the aftermath of this war.

In Israel and Gaza, Hamas and PIJ must put an immediate end to the indiscriminate firing of rockets at civilian centres and release all hostages.

Israel must take necessary steps to prevent civilian casualties, protect civilian infrastructure, and restore food, water, and electricity to innocent Palestinian civilians.

We agree with the stated goal of the Israeli government to defeat Hamas for the safety of Israelis and Palestinians alike. For the outcome of this war to finally bring safety and security to all innocent Israelis and Palestinians in the region, Israel must take all reasonable precautions to protect civilians and adhere to international law. 

It is clearer now more than ever that a military solution will never solve a political conflict. Following this war, leaders on all sides, with support from the international community, must recommit to negotiating a just two-state solution, with a Jewish sovereign state alongside a Palestinian one.