Palestinian Canadians Suing Canadian Foreign Minister for Arms Export To Israel

What Happened:

Palestinian Canadian activists and human rights lawyers are suing Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Jolie for the exports of military equipment to Israel. They are suing based on the grounds that they violate Canada’s obligations under domestic and international law.

The lawsuit requests that a federal court order the Canadian government to stop issuing export permits for military equipment headed to Israel. It wants the permits to be deemed unlawful until a time when they are not in conflict.

The Details:

The activists are “seeking to hold Canada to its own standards and to its international legal obligations,” according to Henry Off, a board member of the Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights. They are concerned about human rights violations in Gaza, and do not want to contribute to the conflict.

Protests have been occurring outside weapons facilities, government buildings, and manufactories. The outcry has become increasingly widespread as calls to end the export ramp up. Canada’s government has claimed that permits that were granted since October 7th only allow non-lethal equipment to be exported to the country.

Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Jean-Pierre Godbout did not provide an example of “non-lethal” exports, or an exact dollar amount for how many exports they are sending. Experts believe that the primary exports are parts and components for other military equipment. However, most of the exports are difficult to identify as the ministry shrouds them in secrecy.

Under international law, exports should be blocked if they can be “used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws.” Canada is also part of the Arms Trade Treaty, a United Nations (UN) pact that also bans exports of arms if they can be used in genocide.

What’s Next:

International law experts have warned that sending arms to Israel could be a violation of the Genocide Convention and the Arms Trade Treaty of the UN. The issue that experts and activists alike are facing is that Canada is secretive about what is being exported, and it is difficult to determine what is being allowed or denied.

For the law suit, it is still in the early stages of filing. The lawyers are hoping that it will force Canada to be held accountable for sending weapons to Israel in the middle of a conflict that has multiple accusations of genocide.

This is an ongoing situation and is likely to change after the time of writing.


Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger holds a Political Science and History BS and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration. Before his time at Atlas he joined GoodPolitical to serve as a writer and contributor while also expanding his knowledge on global events. Matthew is proud to be a part of a news organization that believes in delivering truthful, unfiltered, and unbiased news to people around the world.


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