These two Palestinian children died in a housefire in Hebron, in the Occupied West Bank after Israeli military prevented a Palestinian fire truck from crossing a checkpoint. A Canadian church group has written to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister demanding that she act, and asking for a meeting. Read more…
The Co-Chair of the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI) has written to Minister Chrystia Freeland demanding that Canada take a more active role in protecting unarmed Palestinian civilians, including women and children, facing settler violence in the Palestinian City of Hebron.
“I am writing to urge that the Canadian government demand the government of Israel investigate the actions of the Israeli military on March 5th in blocking emergency fire and rescue equipment from responding to a house fire in the Al-Salaymeh neighbourhood of Hebron’s Old City,” wrote Reverend Steve Berube on March 7th.
“This action resulted in 18 month old Malik Al-Rajabi and her 4 year old brother Wael Al-Rajabi being burned to death.” he continued.
Berube asked for a meeting with the minister.
This is the second time in a month that Reverend Berube has written Minister Freeland about the deteriorating situation in Hebron.
On February 2nd, he had written her raising concerns about the Netanyahu government’s decision to ban international observers from Hebron.
“I am writing to you to express my grave concern with respect to the Israeli government decision to force the Temporary International Presence in Hebron out of occupied Hebron and to urge you to take action to force Israel to reverse this decision.”
The Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) was created in 1994 to protect Palestinian civilians from attacks by rabid Israeli settlers. On January 28th, the Israeli government cancelled TIPH permit to operate in Hebron, leaving Palestinian children open to attack without any international protection or even witnesses.
Reverend Berube has quite a bit of experience, having been an observer in the West Bank as part of a similar – the Ecumenical Accompanied Program in Palestine and Israel. (EAPPI). EAPPI is supported by a consortium of Canadian churches, including the United Church of Canada.
“The situation in (Hebron) has deteriorated from five years ago,” wrote Berube recently. “Vendors in the market have seen a marked decrease in business as settlers continue to disrupt and harass them by throwing human excrement and household garbage from apartments above down on the market stalls.”
As of March 15, Reverend Berube is still waiting for an answer from the minister for either letter. Any CTIP readers who are concerned about Canada’s lack of response to increasing Israel settler violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank could forward Berube’s letter (or this blog post) to their own MP.
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) encourages a thoughtful discussion among Canadians on the Israel/Palestine issue, including a well informed and sensitive discussion about the options. CTIP encourages serious people who disagree with any column to make comment. Disagreements respectfully offered are welcome. To learn more about what CTIP does, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.