Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Shafqat Ali becomes second Liberal MP to voice support for NDP’s Gaza ceasefire motion

Shafqat Ali, a Liberal Member of Parliament, announced his support for the NDP’s Gaza ceasefire motion, becoming the second Liberal lawmaker to endorse the initiative following Salma Zahid’s lead. Ali’s office informed iPolitics of his intention to vote in favor of the motion on Monday, aligning with the call for immediate action to quell tensions between Palestinians and Israelis.

Ali, representing Brampton Centre, emphasized the urgent need for enhanced protections for civilians in Gaza and urged the Trudeau government to resume funding for UNRWA, the refugee agency aiding Palestinians. Funding for UNRWA had been halted in January following allegations from Israel regarding the agency’s involvement in an attack, but Canada recently announced the resumption of support.

The NDP’s motion encompasses various measures, including an immediate ceasefire, suspension of military trade with Israel, and official recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state by Canada. These actions aim to address the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which has seen significant loss of life and displacement.

Meanwhile, concerns have been raised regarding Canada’s response to Israel’s requests for military imports and exports. Reports indicate delays in approving armoured patrol vehicles and non-lethal military goods, reflecting apprehensions over potential human rights violations.

Zahid echoed the sentiments of many, emphasizing the importance of protecting innocent civilians and advocating for Canada to play a proactive role in fostering international justice and peace.

The conflict in Gaza, triggered by a Hamas attack last October, has resulted in devastating casualties and displacement, prompting urgent calls for intervention to prevent further loss of life and alleviate humanitarian suffering.

NDP MP Heather McPherson underscored the gravity of the situation, highlighting the potential for a genocide and urging Canada to fulfill its legal obligations to intervene and halt the crisis.

While some Liberal MPs express support for the motion, concerns remain about its passage, particularly amidst expected opposition from the Conservative Party. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs opposes the motion, citing concerns over its impact on Israel’s defensive measures and its departure from Canada’s traditional stance on Palestinian statehood.

Montreal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather voiced opposition to the motion, citing its deviation from established Canadian foreign policy. Alongside Toronto MP Marco Mendicino, he advocates for alternative approaches to humanitarian aid in the region.

As tensions escalate and humanitarian needs grow, the debate over Canada’s role in addressing the crisis in Gaza intensifies, highlighting the complexities of international diplomacy and the imperative of balancing human rights concerns with geopolitical realities.

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