Canada ‘firm and steadfast’ in call for two-state solution for Israel, Palestinians

Canada 'firm and steadfast' in call for two-state solution for Israel, Palestinians
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a town hall discussion in Toronto, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada remains “firm and steadfast” in its commitment to a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He says the Middle East, and the world, needs both a Palestinian state and Israel to exist alongside each other in peace, safety and prosperity.

Canada has long called for a negotiated two-state solution in the region, and considers the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be occupied territories.

Trudeau is reiterating this position in the context of the latest Israel-Hamas war, which began after militants from Hamas, which Canada considers a terrorist organization, killed 1,400 Israelis in a brazen attack on Oct. 7.

Israel retaliated with airstrikes in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, where it has also cut off the Palestinian territory’s access to water, food and electricity.


Trudeau, who says Israel has the “full right to defend itself in accordance with international law,” is not saying what plan Canada would like to see for Gaza once Israel finishes its operations.

“We will of course continue to deal with things as they come up and we will have those conversations when the time comes,” Trudeau said Friday in Brampton, Ont.

“But Canada remains firm and steadfast in our commitment to a two-state solution. The world and the region needs a peaceful, safe, prosperous, viable Palestinian state alongside a peaceful, prosperous, democratic, safe Israeli state — Israel,” he said.

The war in Israel has reached its 14th day, and The Associated Press reports that Israeli airstrikes are hitting southern Gaza, an area full of civilians who fled there from the north of the territory at the direction of Israeli officials.

The United Nations secretary-general is at the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, to try to find a way to get badly needed aid into the enclave.

Israel is evacuating a sizable town near the Lebanese border, out of fears of clashes in the country’s north.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2023.

— With files from The Associated Press.

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