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QUESTION PERIOD — Global Affairs

Conflict in Gaza Strip

February 6, 2024

Senator Gold, on January 26, the International Court of Justice, the ICJ, concluded that it was “plausible” that Israel was committing acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza in response to the atrocities carried out by Hamas on October 7, 2023. Pending its final decision, the court ordered Israel to implement provisional measures to prevent expulsion and forced displacement of Palestinians, deprivation of access to humanitarian assistance, destruction of Palestinian life in Gaza and public incitement to commit genocide.

In light of the court’s ruling and the obligation on Canada as a state party to the Genocide Convention, will the government make clear publicly that it will, first, ensure no further transfer of Canadian military or dual-use technologies; second, reinstate full humanitarian assistance; and third, urge Israel to comply with the ruling of the court?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

Thank you for your question. Canada was a founding member and remains a strong proponent of the International Court of Justice’s independence and its critical role in the peaceful settlement of disputes between parties.

The Government of Canada has also made clear that the orders of the ICJ are binding on the parties and that they must comply with them. The government continues to support the ICJ’s critical role in the peaceful settlement of disputes, and it will continue to work in upholding the international rules-based order.

Thank you, Senator Gold. If Canada fails to undertake these initiatives, how does Canada plan to address its own potential violation of our country’s obligations under the Genocide Convention? How will this impact Canada’s attempts to currently secure a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council?

Senator Gold [ - ]

The fact that the International Court of Justice decided to proceed with a full hearing on the issue does not assume that the claims made against Israel have any basis in law. That will be determined by the court. It is inappropriate of me to comment further on whether or not Canada’s steadfast support for both Israel and Palestinians and the creation, ultimately, we hope, of a two-state solution so that all parties can live in peace — that this commitment has anything to do with the allegations or the hypothetical allegations that you have suggested would follow from this continued policy.

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