Gaza 20/20--Land Day 2020: International Solidarity for Palestinians calls for Economic Sanctions & Military Embargo

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March 30, 2020, Land Day and Second Anniversay of "the Great March of Return."

Write a letter to the Canadian government calling for international and domestic accountability.

On March 30 2020, Land Day, let us remind the Canadian government that it has responsibility under both international and domestic law to hold Israel accountable.

It only takes 1-3 minutes to send a letter, which you can choose to customize.

Gaza 20/20 is an urgent call from the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq to the international community.  

This campaign was inspired after a 2017 UN report warned that Gaza is expected to be uninhabitable by 2020. In this deeply worrying report, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities noted that Gaza’s trajectory of “de-development” has accelerated. For the nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, Israel’s persecution and collective punishment had already made life there unbearable.  

Now in 2020, Gaza beyond this horrendous situation Gaza now is facing the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19 with the first cases. For example, there are only 40 intensive care beds for 2 million people, only 200 test kits, a lack of electricity and clean water as well as a lack of base medical supplies.

The Gaza 20/20 call began in Fall 2018 in Canada, in partnership with Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement pour une Just Paix, with over 20 public events, coast to coast with over 2,000 people attending.

In Canada during 2018, Just Peace Advocates partnered with Al Haq to bring this message to civil society and to the Canadian government, pointing out Canadian accountability through both international and domestic law.  

Specifically:

International Law: Under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, all High Contracting Parties (which includes Canada), are required to take action to ensure respect for the Convention “in all circumstances.”


Domestic Law: Under the Special Economic Measures Act, the Canadian government can impose sanctions when “gross and systematic human rights violations have been committed in a foreign state.”

In November 2018, over 100 organizations signed a letter to the Canadian government calling for Canadian sanctions on Israel until at least the blockade was lifted for the Palestinian people living in Gaza.

In November 2019, over 75 organizations signed a second letter.

We continue to call for as a minimum on the Canadian government to:

-publicly condemn Israeli security operations in Gaza and demand an end to all breaches of international humanitarian law and international human rights law;

-insist through the implementation of sanctions that Israel end its blockade of Gaza;
implement an arms embargo, and press for a comprehensive arms embargo at the level of the UN Security Council;

-vote at the UNGA in alignment with the majority of the international community taking a stance in line with international law and human rights for Palestinians, recognizing this is important also in seeking a seat on the UNSC; and

-impose a ban on all goods originating from illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory entering Canada as well as a ban on Canadian companies operating in illegal settlements or trading in settlement goods.

University of Western law professor Michael Lynk said in his October 23, 2019 report to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territory that:

“United Nations reports have stated that war crimes may have been committed by Israel during its various military operations in Gaza, [and] multiple and systematic human rights violations have been credibly documented by the United Nations and by international, Israeli and Palestinian human rights defenders.” The Special Rapporteur reminded the UNGA that he had “determined previously that the occupation itself has become illegal, given its flagrant violations of the foundational principles of the modern laws of occupation.”

Michael Lynk stressed that now it is time for the international community to hold Israel accountable. It seems Canadians would agree, as a 2017 EKOS poll indicated that two-thirds of Canadians indicated support for sanctions on Israel.

In February 2020, the Canadian government indicated to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that Canada does not recognize a Palestinian state, and thus Canada's policy is that the ICC has no jurisdiction in the case now before it. See the letter in response that was sent on February 28, 2020 by Michael Lynk with Alex Neve, Secretary of Amnesty International Canada .

Gaza 20/20 also calls the Canadian government to

-support the Prosecutor’s motion before the Pre Trial Chamber that the “territory” over which the ICC may exercise its jurisdiction under the Rome Statute for the purpose of formally investigating the purported commission of war crimes in this situation comprises of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza; and not to take any steps at the ICC or any other international forum that would oppose the work of the Prosecutor in this regard.

On March 30, 2020, Land Day, let us remind the Canadian government that it has responsibility under both international and domestic law to hold Israel accountable. It only takes 1-3 minutes to send a letter, which you can choose to customize.



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