Thursday, April 4, 2024,

The Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC) is reaching out to you regarding the ongoing crisis in Palestine. We would like to give you an update on the situation and provide specific recommendations, highlighting Canada’s role and obligations in these circumstances.

We appreciate your attention and continued support for our community’s concerns. As elected officials, your advocacy and leadership are instrumental in addressing the root causes of the crisis and advocating for meaningful action to uphold human rights and international law.

As we conclude the sixth month of this dire situation, it is crucial to reiterate the urgent need for action to address the escalating humanitarian tragedy in Gaza. The situation continues to deteriorate, and the suffering of the Palestinian people has intensified. The staggering casualty figures continue to rise, with over 33,000 civilians killed, and the displacement of 1.9 million people, over 85% of Gaza’s population. Additionally, recent reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations underscore a dire famine crisis in Gaza, with malnutrition rates soaring to unprecedented levels, particularly among children and pregnant/ breastfeeding women. Urgent humanitarian aid access is imperative to address this crisis, with 1 in 6 children under 2 acutely malnourished in the northern Gaza Strip. Regrettably, these conditions remain unchanged, underscoring the critical need for immediate intervention to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian population.

The recent evidence-based report by Francesca Albanese, the Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, further underscores the severity of the crisis in Gaza, suggesting that there are ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe that Israel’s actions may constitute genocide, with deliberate targeting of civilians and distortion of humanitarian principles by Israeli authorities. We urge our MPs to take a firm stance on this matter and support Francesca Albanese’s efforts in documenting and addressing the crisis in Gaza. Canada, as a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, has an obligation to uphold human rights standards and promote peace and justice globally.

As such, we urge you to continue pressuring the Canadian government to fulfill its obligations under international law, including abiding by ICJ rulings and preventing and punishing genocide as it pertains to the Palestinians in Gaza under the Genocide Convention. We reiterate our previous calls for decisive action, including the following demands from the Canadian government:

  1. Enforce Immediate Ceasefire Resolution by the United Nations: It is imperative that the Canadian government plays an active role in enforcing the immediate ceasefire as mandated by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2728 (2024). The continued escalation of violence in Gaza underscores the urgent need for diplomatic intervention to halt hostilities and prevent further loss of civilian lives. We urge you to advocate for Canada’s full support in implementing the ceasefire resolution and exerting diplomatic pressure on the Israeli government to cease hostilities immediately and permanently. Failure to act decisively in enforcing the ceasefire not only prolongs the suffering of innocent civilians but also undermines the credibility of international efforts to end this crisis.
  1. Condemn the Attacks on Al-Shifa Hospital: The recent invasion and complete destruction of Al-Shifa Hospital by Israeli forces, which was the largest medical facility in Gaza, alongside reports of egregious violations including incidents of sexual violence against civilians, arbitrary arrests, and field executions, constitute war crimes under international law. These actions demand an unequivocal condemnation from the Canadian government. Such attacks not only target innocent civilians seeking essential medical treatment and health care workers but also flagrantly violate principles established by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the urgent call for an immediate ceasefire. Canada must take a robust stance against such appalling disregard for human life and ensure that those responsible for these criminal actions are held accountable. As elected representatives, we urge you to publicly denounce these war crimes and actively advocate for justice and accountability on the international stage, both within the Canadian Parliament and through diplomatic channels with the Liberal government.
  1. Missed Priorities in the NDP Opposition Motion for Palestine: While we acknowledge the positive aspects of the NDP motion on Palestine, it is crucial to address the significant shortcomings that undermine its effectiveness in addressing the root causes of the crisis. The motion’s failure to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state and to impose sanctions on Israel and its officials for human rights violations are glaring omissions that must be rectified. Additionally, the motion’s inadequate provisions for addressing the humanitarian crisis and condemning illegal settlement expansion in the occupied territories fall short of addressing the complexities of the situation. We ask you as a concerned elected member of parliament to advocate for the recognition of Palestinian rights, accountability for human rights abuses, and increased efforts to alleviate the humanitarian suffering in Gaza. More details in CMPAC’s statement here.
  1. New Additional Provisional Measures released by ICJ on March 28, 2024: We urge you to prioritize the orders issued by the ICJ on January 26, 2024, along with the newly added provisional measures released on March 28, 2024. It is essential to advocate for adherence to these ICJ rulings by both Canada and Israel, as well as uphold Canada’s obligations under the Convention to prevent and punish genocide in Gaza. We demand immediate and unwavering compliance with the ICJ’s provisional measures, which include:

(i) Urgently ensuring compliance with the new provisional measure for the timely delivery of essential humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza. The dire circumstances, marked by famine and starvation, require swift action, emphasizing Israel’s responsibility to fully cooperate with the United Nations in providing vital services and assistance.

(ii) Advocating for an increase in the capacity and number of land crossing points to Gaza, guaranteeing unimpeded aid delivery. These crossings must remain open as long as necessary to facilitate the influx of crucial aid, and it is imperative for Israel to adhere to these measures to uphold international law and alleviate the suffering of Palestinians.

(iii) Calling for an immediate cessation of military actions that violate the rights of Palestinians as a protected group under the Genocide Convention. This includes any actions that obstruct the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance, as it is crucial to ensure the protection and well-being of the Palestinian population in Gaza. 

We urge all MPs to champion these demands in parliament and actively work towards their swift implementation.

Additionally, we urgently seek your ongoing support in safeguarding Canadians’ rights to freely express solidarity with Palestine, combating Islamophobia, and providing assistance to Palestinians from Gaza. Recent distressing reports have surfaced, detailing instances of excessive force and intimidation tactics employed by the Toronto Police Service against pro-Palestinian demonstrators on March 30, 2024, in downtown Toronto. These incidents underscore the pressing need for governmental intervention to uphold democratic principles and ensure individuals can advocate peacefully without fear of discrimination, intimidation, or reprisal. Additionally, these events shed light on a troubling trend wherein peaceful expressions of support for Palestine are frequently misunderstood or misrepresented, thereby undermining legitimate grievances and fostering an atmosphere of apprehension within the community. It is imperative for elected officials to acknowledge and redress these injustices, fostering an environment wherein Canadians can exercise their freedom of expression and protest devoid of unjust repercussions.

We remain committed to working collaboratively with you to address these urgent issues immediately. Should you require further clarification on the outlined proposals or seek expert opinions or direct witness statements, we are available to arrange a meeting or provide additional information and reports at your convenience.

Thank you for your attention to this critical issue, and we look forward to your continued support and leadership.


Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC)