Israel-Hamas war: Canada condemns West Bank ‘settler violence’

Canada is expressing concerns about “extremist settler violence” in the occupied West Bank and is calling on the government of Israel to intervene, Global Affairs Canada said in a Monday evening statement.

“Canada strongly condemns the extremist settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank and is also gravely concerned by reports of Palestinian communities being forcibly removed from their lands in the West Bank,” the department said.

“Canada, along with partners, calls on the Government of Israel to take immediate action to stop such further occurrences of extremist settler violence, protect the Palestinian population, and hold those responsible for the violence accountable under the law.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly shared a link to the Global Affairs statement on X, formerly Twitter, reiterating the department’s condemnation of violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

“This violence negatively impacts efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution,” she wrote.

Since Hamas, a militant group long deemed a terrorist organization by the Canadian government, attacked Israel on Oct. 7, the United Nations has reported an increase in Israeli settler attacks in the West Bank.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in an update Monday that there have been 256 settler attacks against Palestinians in the last six weeks, and that at least 143 Palestinian households comprising more than 1,000 people have been displaced “amid settler violence and access restrictions.”

According to The Associated Press, towns have been raided, olive trees belonging to Palestinians have been destroyed during the harvest season, property has been damaged, residents have been forced from their homes and detainees have been beaten.

Citing Palestinian health authorities, The Associated Press has also reported that settlers have killed nine Palestinians in this time period, and that the Israeli army has said troops are “required to act” if Israeli citizens violate the law.

Canada considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibit an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into in a territory it occupies.

“As has been the position of successive Canadian governments, Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967, and strongly opposes illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank,” Global Affairs said.

“The settlements constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East,” Global Affairs added.

“Canada continues to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and remains committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region, of a two-state solution, including the creation of an independent, viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel.”

Around 1,200 people were killed following Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7 and roughly 240 people were taken hostage. In the weeks that have followed, more than 11,400 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas-run health ministry there says, amid Israeli airstrikes and a ground offensive.

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