Israel, Washington and other countries have been locked in a standoff over whether to declare the Gaza Strip a “safe haven” for Palestinians under Israeli and international law, a move that could lead to new rounds of fighting and a return to the old days of the two-state solution.
The US has been a key backer of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in the wake of the 2014 war.
It said it was willing to do more to help the Gaza residents, who have been living in poverty for years, but only if Israel gave up the “right of return” for all of the territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Canada is also one of Israel’s closest allies and has committed $3.8 billion over the next two years to help Palestinian refugees.
But it is Israel that has come out swinging against a US decision that would allow it to rejoin the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing Washington of backing a terrorist organization.
The United States said it would not support a Palestinian re-entry to the ICC but it has not formally opposed Israel’s position.
Israel said the ICC decision “would create a global black hole of terror” and the Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu told a news conference Wednesday that it would “break our heart.”
“It’s time to get back to the two state solution,” Netanyahu said.
Canada, which is Canada’s biggest trading partner, said it has repeatedly expressed its concerns to Israel about a re-engagement with the ICC.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said the government has raised its concerns with the Israelis and is working with them on ways to reduce the risk of another flare-up.
“We continue to urge Israel to remain steadfast in its determination to bring an end to the violence and to return to a two-State solution, which will ensure the safety of Israelis, Palestinians, refugees and their communities,” Dion said in a statement.
“Canada remains committed to Israel’s continued right to self-determination and has been consistent in its condemnation of violence against Israelis and Palestinians.”
In this context, we remain committed to the United Nations Security Council’s efforts to bring the parties to a diplomatic resolution to this issue.”US President Donald Trump said he would be willing to work with Israel to end the conflict, but his administration has been slow to support Israel’s claim to the Gaza strip.”
I am very happy that Canada is taking the lead on this issue.
We are working with Israel very closely,” Trump told reporters in Israel on Wednesday.”
But there’s no question that there is a huge amount of work to be done on the international arena, including the Security Council.
“The White House said the Trump administration is “very supportive” of Israel and would work with it “to achieve a peace deal.
“Israel and the United States have been at odds over the Gaza issue for years.
Israel wants a full return of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to Israel.
The Palestinians want the West to remain under Palestinian control.
Israel captured the Gaza-bound territory in the 1973 war and seized East Jerusalem in the same year.
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967, as the capital of a future state, while Israel wants all of West Jerusalem.
Israel says it needs the Gaza area to build an Israeli military outpost in the territory, which it captured from Egypt in the 1980s.
The UN Security Council last week approved a resolution that would require Israel to stop firing rockets from the Gaza border and to halt attacks on civilians, but it does not provide any legal basis for the move.
Trump has said he wants to keep the Palestinian territories under Israeli control, while the Palestinians want to have the Palestinians under Palestinian sovereignty.