Canada’s Middle East policy

Peace Tower Pink SkyAccording to the Government of Canada’s website, Canada’s official policy towards key issues in the Israeli-Palestine conflict and relevant international law is as follows:

Support for Israel and its Security

“Israel has a right under international law to take the necessary measures, in accordance with human rights and international humanitarian law, to protect the security of its citizens from attacks by terrorist groups.”

Support for the Palestinians

“Canada recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination and supports the creation of a sovereign, independent, viable, democratic and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, as part of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace settlement.”

Support for a Comprehensive Peace Settlement

“Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel.”

Status of Jerusalem

“Canada considers the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only as part of a general settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. Canada does not recognize Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem.”

Palestinian Refugees

“Canada believes that a just solution to the Palestinian refugee issue is central to a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as called for in United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (1948) and United Nations Security Council resolution 242. A solution to the Palestinian refugee issue must be negotiated among the parties concerned in the context of a final status peace agreement.”

Occupied Territories and Settlements

“Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967 (the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip). The Fourth Geneva Convention applies in the occupied territories and establishes Israel’s obligations as an occupying power, in particular with respect to the humane treatment of the inhabitants of the occupied territories. As referred to in UN Security Council Resolutions 446 and 465, Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements also constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”

Click here for a summary of the international law governing occupation.

Photo Credit: Paul Balchin

Tags: Canada, Canadian foreign policy, Government of Canada policy, Human rights, Israel-Palestine, Middle East Peace, Stephen Harper, United Nations