We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the middle east, in particular the violation of human rights of Palestinians in Gaza currently under siege. While we condemn last Saturday’s senseless violence perpetrated by Hamas on the Israeli communities around the Gaza strip, we are troubled by the scope and the end-result of the impending Israeli response – an invasion of the Gaza strip to eliminate Hamas – which will result in a deeper humanitarian crisis and fuel never-ending intra-generational violence.

The collective punishment of innocent Palestinian civilians for the violent actions of Hamas contravenes international humanitarian law and it is repugnant to our core value of social justice, and to our vision – i.e. a safer world and a better future for refugees.

Therefore, as Canadians, we demand that our government – as a signatory of the Geneva Convention, and with legal responsibility under the UN Charter and a moral responsibility as a member of the international community – stand up for those whose rights are repeatedly violated.

It is only through principled action that peace can be achieved and healing for both communities can begin.