The Canadian Peace Alliance is calling on all members and supporters to support existing demonstrations, or organize their own, this Saturday, January 10 to demand that the Canadian government call for an immediate end to the massacre in Gaza. We know that almost 600 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and thousands more maimed and wounded since the Israeli assault began, and many more will be killed as the humanitarian disaster worsens.

The Government of Canada has so far rejected calls for a ceasefire and is supporting the war crimes being committed by Israel in Gaza. As with the wars in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, Stephen Harper has proven himself to be firmly in the camp of the warmongers of the outgoing Bush administration. This does not reflect the will of the majority of Canadians who want to see our country as an arbiter of peace rather than a country that supports the bombing of civilians.

Canadian Foreign Minister, Lawrence Cannon has blamed Hamas for starting this conflict by sending rockets into Southern Israel, yet the facts contradict this assertion. According to Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, “There was no substantial rocket fire from Gaza during the ceasefire until Israel launched an attack last November 4th directed at what it claimed were Palestinian militants in Gaza, killing several Palestinians. Also, it was Hamas that on numerous public occasions called for extending the truce, with its calls never acknowledged, much less acted upon, by Israeli officialdom.”

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza has been worsening since the Israeli blockade began 2 years ago. International agencies, including the United Nations, have condemned the blockade which has severely limited necessities such as medical supplies and food. The Harper government has been one of the most vociferous supporters of this collective punishment and was the first government to end humanitarian aid to the Palestinians after the election of Hamas.

Since the Israeli bombing began eleven days ago, the crisis has worsened. More than 80 per cent of Palestinians are without needed food aid and hospitals are operating on the thousands of wounded without anesthetics or even basic painkillers. Electricity and communications have also been targeted resulting in isolation and deprivation for the 1.5 million people of Gaza.

The current assault on Gaza is an aggressive war that violates international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention. Our government is now complicit in these war crimes. Canadians will not stand by while the Conservative government supports the unilateral massacre of innocent people.

For a full listing of events and actions, visit the CPA website.