Elizabeth May tours Middle East following Palestinian-Israeli clash

Elizabeth May tours Middle East following Palestinian-Israeli clash

File photo courtesy of CBC

File photo courtesy of CBC

Elizabeth May and 18 other Canadian MPs are in the Middle East this weekend representing the Canada-Palestinian Parliamentary Friendship Group.

On Saturday the Saanich-Gulf Islands MP said she was touring Bethlehem.

“Learning more about plight of Palestinians. Gaza shootings have shaken everyone.” said May in a tweet.

Following the announcement on social media, some on Twitter asked if the trip was taxpayer funded and if she could comment on the recent clash between Palestinian-Israeli groups.

At least 15 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire after thousands marched to Gaza’s border with Isreal Friday. The Palestinian Health Ministry said over 750 others were wounded by Israeli fire in clashes along the border fence.

“I did comment. Not silent and currently in Occupied Territories.” said the Green Party leader on Twitter “To tweets about trip to Occupied Territories, it is not government funded trip. Green Party paid my airfare and I am paying other costs.”

Israel had threatened a tough response to the march in hopes of deterring breaches of the border fence.

The Israeli military later released a video showing a row of snipers perched on a high earthen embankment facing the Gaza crowd in one location — and on Friday the military also used a new means of crowd control, in the form of small drones dropping tear gas canisters.

Following the incident, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for “an independent and transparent investigation” into the deadly clashes as Security Council members urged restraint and a lowering of tensions on both sides.

Jagmeet Singh, the new leader for the federal NDP also took to Twitter to voice his concerns with the recent violence.

“I am shocked by the violence in Gaza. The Canadian government must call on Israel to abide by its responsibilities under international law and call for an independent investigation.” he said. “The killing, human rights violations and blockade must end.”

The friendship group was first founded in 2007 but was reconstituted for the 42nd Parliament in 2017, and has nine members.

The Canada-Israel Interparliamentary group has over 50 members and unlike the Canada-Palestinian Parliamentary Friendship Group gets financial and administrative support from Parliament.

Alexandre Boulerice, the NDP MP for Rosemont – La Petite Patrie in Quebec is the elected Vice-Chair for the Friendship Group, and shared photos on the social media platform from the trip.


With files from the CBC 


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