February 23rd, 2024

MPs who visited West Bank urge action against “constant humiliation” of Palestinians

By The Canadian Press on January 21, 2024.

MPs who visited the West Bank argue Canada needs to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and do more to prevent tensions between Palestinians and Israelis. Mourners follow the funeral of killed Palestinians from their patly destroyed house in the West Bank refugee camp of Tulkarem, Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Nasser Nasser

OTTAWA – MPs returning from a visit to the West Bank argue Canada needs to do more to prevent escalating tensions between Palestinians and Israelis.

A group of three NDP and two Liberal MPs spent last week meeting with Palestinian refugees in Jordan, as well as the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as guests of Muslim advocacy groups.

Liberal MP Shafqat Ali says they saw stark divisions in how Israeli settlers and local Palestinians are treated, with segregated roads, tense exchanges and conditions he described as “constant humiliation” of Palestinians.

NDP MP Lindsay Mathyssen said she was struck by meeting Palestinian grade-school children who lamented being taught about human rights, which the students argue they don’t have.

Israel says its treatment of Palestinians in occupied territories is meant to shore up safety for everyone, and it has pushed back on calls by both MPs for a ceasefire to end the current war in Gaza, saying that would only enable Hamas to launch more deadly attacks.

Last November, Canadian Jewish organizations sponsored a visit to Israel by Liberal and Conservative MPs to hear about the lasting impact of the Hamas attack in October that sparked the latest war.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2024.

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