FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2014
Amnesty International accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza: Israel lobby and Harper government are complicit
OTTAWA – Amnesty International published a report today accusing Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza by targeting houses—without warning—filled with families. Amnesty’s report includes eight examples of family homes bombed by the Israeli army, killing more than 100 civilians, including 62 children. Independent Jewish Voices – Canada (IJV) is appalled at the Israel lobby and the Canadian Government’s complicity in these crimes through their unquestioning support of Israel during its assault on Gaza.
“The Israel lobby groups in this country, but predominately the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) which falsely claims to speak for all Jews in Canada—and their willing accomplices in the Harper government—supported Israel’s brutal assault on Palestinian civilians over the summer,” said Tyler Levitan, spokesperson for IJV. “Amnesty International’s report unequivocally debunks the claims of the Israeli government, its lobby groups like CIJA, and our own government during Israel’s massacre of Palestinians in Gaza, showing the callous disregard of these parties for the slaughter of innocent people.”
Israel, its lobby groups in Canada, and the Canadian Government all claim that Israel does not target civilians, but rather, takes every measure to prevent harm to civilians. Amnesty International’s report claims that many of Israel’s aerial bombardments “directly and deliberately targeted civilians or civilian objects, which would constitute war crimes.”
While Israel’s bombardments destroyed or heavily damaged an estimated 20,000 homes, Israel is also responsible for targeting other civilian infrastructure such as mosques, over 200 schools, hospitals, a centre for disabled persons, Gaza’s only power plant, sewage pumping stations, the largest factory in the territory, 740 agricultural acres of farmland, and over half of the poultry livestock.
“Amnesty International has stated that Israel refuses to acknowledge or take responsibility for the deliberate targeting of civilians,” said Levitan. “IJV is calling on CIJA and the Harper government to immediately apologize for its support for Israel’s assault, and to demand that Israel be held accountable for its behaviour under international law.”
For more information contact: Tyler Levitan, Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices – Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org