January 18, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Independent Jewish Voices Canada outraged by Israeli state violence towards protestors, including leading Palestinian politician
Ottawa, ON— Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is shocked and appalled by the news that Israeli police have reportedly shot Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, Ayman Odeh—who leads the third largest party in the Israeli Knesset—in the head using non-lethal ammunition. The incident took place during a protest against the state’s impending demolition of the Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran.
“IJV is distressed by the extreme violence directed at Ayman Odeh and other protestors by Israeli police, who were protesting the Israeli state’s forced removal of Bedouin citizens from their lands and villages,” says spokesperson Tyler Levitan. “Canada must speak up publicly and forcefully against the increasing use of violence by Israel against Palestinian politicians and citizens who protest the state’s discriminatory treatment of its non-Jewish citizens.”
The attack on Odeh coincided with the fatal shooting of a local resident by Israeli police, and the killing of an Israeli police officer, when Israeli police entered the village to begin demolishing its structures. There are conflicting reports about the nature of these killings.
“Israel should be respecting Bedouin rights and treating them equally to its Jewish citizens, rather than using violence to force them to leave their lands against their will, ” continued Levitan. “Sadly, Israel’s goal is to demolish Umm al-Hiran in order to replace it with the Jewish town of Hiran. This is blatant discrimination that our government should not tolerate from a country it regards as a close friend and ally.”
“IJV therefore calls upon the Canadian government to publicly demand that Israel immediately abandon its violent and discriminatory agenda aimed at demolishing the homes and communities of Bedouin citizens of Israel,” concluded Levitan.
For more information:
Tyler Levitan, spokespserson for Independent Jewish Voices Canada
IJV’s initiative to have Canada stand up for Bedouin rights in Israel from February 2016: https://madmimi.com/p/d5b847/
Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is a national human rights organization whose mandate is to promote a just resolution to the conflict in Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties. There are currently ten chapters of IJV in cities across the country, in addition to a growing number of student chapters on major university campuses. IJV supports the right of Canadians to criticize and challenge the current laws and policies of the State of Israel, including through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.