Joly says Canada will sanction some ‘extremist’ Israeli settlers and Hamas leaders

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Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Canada would impose sanctions on “extremist” Israeli settlers in the Palestinian territories, as well as Hamas leaders.

In an interview on Rosemary Barton live which will be broadcast on Sunday, Joly said the government was “actively working on it” as she took part in a tour of Ukraine, where she met with Ukrainian officials and visited sites affected by that country’s ongoing war.

“We will sanction extremist settlers and we will also impose new sanctions on Hamas leaders,” Joly told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton.

“I’m making sure that while I’m in Ukraine, work is being done in Ottawa and I look forward to making announcements soon.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that Canada is exploring the possibility of imposing restrictions on some Israelis living in illegal settlements in the West Bank.

“Settler violence in the West Bank is absolutely unacceptable and jeopardizes peace (and) stability in the region, as well as the path to the two-state solution which is absolutely essential,” he told reporters after an event in Waterloo, Ontario.

Canada would follow in the footsteps of the United States, which this week announced a second round of sanctions against four individuals accused of inciting and carrying out violence against Palestinians and Israeli peace activists in the West Bank.

“This violence poses a serious threat to peace, security and stability in the West Bank, Israel and the Middle East region, and threatens the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States,” he said. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement. statement.

Violence in the Palestinian territories has increased since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, sparked by the attacks carried out by Hamas on October 7, in which around 1,200 Israelis were killed and around 250 taken hostage. Palestinian health officials say more than 26,000 people have been killed in Israeli attacks over the past four months.

Palestinians react during a demonstration against Israeli settlements near Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, September 15, 2023.
Palestinians react during a demonstration against Israeli settlements near Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, September 15, 2023. (Raneen Sawafta/Reuters)

Joly told Barton that Canada remains committed to finding a way to end the fighting and working towards a long-term solution.

“First and foremost, we must reach a deal on the hostages. The hostages must return and be released. We need more humanitarian aid to Gaza,” she said.

“And we have to make sure that Hamas lays down its arms. And that’s the first step in ensuring that one day we get to a path where we can have a longer truce, a lasting ceasefire and, term, much more, a path towards a peace for two”. -state solution.”

This outlook appeared bleak during the months of war. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explicitly declared his rejection of the idea in January, sparking strong criticism from Canada and its allies like the United States. The US State Department said this week that it consider the options recognize a Palestinian state in the aftermath of the war.

Joly said changes were needed on both sides to make long-term peace possible.

“We need a reformed Palestinian Authority. We also need a government in Israel willing to do the important work to achieve this two-state solution.”

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