NewsCanada to halt arms sales to Israel, raising exit concerns for citizens

Canada to halt arms sales to Israel, raising exit concerns for citizens

Canada will not sell arms to Israel
Canada will not sell arms to Israel
Images source: © Getty Images | 2023 Anadolu

4:42 AM EDT, March 21, 2024

Canadian media have reported that Canada will halt its arms sales to Israel. The Minister of Immigration expressed concerns that this could lead Israel to make it more difficult for individuals with Canadian citizenship and their families to leave the Gaza Strip.

As TVA Nouvelles reported, based on information from AFP agency and government sources, Canada is set to cease its arms dealings with Israel. Marc Miller, the Immigration Minister, highlighted worries that this could complicate the departure process from the Gaza Strip for Canadian citizens and their relatives.

"Canada will cease selling arms to Israel," was the announcement made by TVA Nouvelles, referring to details from AFP agency and governmental sources.

Decision by the House of Commons

The decision came after the House of Commons passed a resolution on Monday, urging the government to work towards the creation of a Palestinian state through negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

The original proposal from the government's informal coalition partner, the New Democratic Party, suggested a non-binding resolution for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

However, after extensive negotiations and the addition of 14 amendments by the Liberal party, the resolution was approved. It garnered support not just from the Bloc Québécois, who had previously voiced their support, but also from Liberal lawmakers, including members of the government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The resolution's directives included stopping arms sales to Israel and intensifying efforts to combat the global illegal arms trade, including dealings with Hamas.

Foreign Minister Melanie Joly reported, per the AFP agency, that since the conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated after an attack on Israel on October 7 last year, Canada has not authorized any new arms sales to Israel. From January 8 onwards, no new licenses were granted. Government sources mentioned that sales following October 7 only involved non-lethal equipment, such as communication devices.

On Wednesday, Immigration Minister Marc Miller cautioned that the resolution might hinder efforts to assist individuals seeking asylum in Canada to leave the Gaza Strip, as reported by The Canadian Press. "Any decision perceived as unfavorable could influence Israel's decision-making at the highest political level," Miller stated. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded that the measures, including the halt of arms exports to Israel, would diminish the country's defense capabilities, adding, "History will judge Canada for this."

The Canadian government is offering asylum to family members of Canadians in the Gaza Strip, with plans to issue about a thousand temporary visas. According to The Canadian Press, only 14 individuals have been permitted to pass through the Rafah crossing, which is under the control of Israel and Egypt.

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