Canada urged to join UN case against Israel for Gaza ‘genocide’

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OTTAWA —  A Canadian MP from the Liberal Party is asking her fellow lawmakers to join a UN case against Israel for its alleged genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

Salma Zahid, who represents a Toronto-area constituency, tweeted on Tuesday that Canada should back South Africa’s request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to investigate Israel’s actions in the ongoing conflict with Hamas.

South Africa claims that Israel’s intense bombing of Gaza and blockade of its people amount to genocide, and that Israel has shown a “clear intent to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a group”. It cites statements by Israeli officials as proof of their genocidal motive.

Israel has strongly rejected the accusations, calling them baseless and disgusting.

Some Liberal MPs, such as Marco Mendicino and Anthony Housefather, have opposed the ICJ case, saying it is unfounded and unfair. They argue that Israel is defending itself from Hamas, which carried out a horrific terror attack on Oct. 7, killing over 1,200 Israelis and taking many more hostage.

The case has also been criticized by former Supreme Court judge Rosalie Abella, who called it “an outrageous and cynical abuse of the principles underlying the international legal order that was set up after the Second World War.” Irwin Cotler, a human rights lawyer and former Liberal minister, has said that Hamas, not Israel, should be charged with war crimes.

The Canadian government has not taken a stance on the case yet, but the Palestinian ambassador and the South African high commissioner in Ottawa will both make a public appeal for Canada’s support later today.

Salma Zahid
Salma Zahid

Salma Zahid, who has been a vocal critic of Israel, was one of the Liberal MPs who ersuaded the Trudeau government to officially call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict last month.

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