[17 July, 2006]
OTTAWA – NDP leader Jack Layton today called on Stephen Harper to immediately indicate Canada’s support for a UN peacekeeping force to be deployed to the Middle East.
“It is with great sadness that we learn of the deaths of seven Canadians in rocket attacks in Lebanon. On behalf of all New Democrats, I extend our deepest condolences to friends and surviving members of the El-Akhras family. We are horrified by the mounting loss of civilian life throughout the region.
“Canada must step forward and call explicitly for a ceasefire by all sides in the conflict, including the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon, the cessation of attacks by Israel in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, and the cessation of rocket attacks and incursions on Israel by Hezbollah and Hamas.
“A vital step is an international peacekeeping force to prevent further rocket attacks. I urge Prime Minister Stephen Harper to commit Canadian Forces to the peacekeeping initiative outlined by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Aggressive and brutal attacks on civilians by Israel cannot be justified, just as the terrifying rocket attacks into Israeli cities must be condemned.”