The Green Party of Canada deplores the escalation of events that led to the death of at least 9 pro-Palestinian activists in an aid flotilla seeking to run an Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. An independent international investigation is urgently required and should seek to determine why Israeli forces did not opt to disable the ship’s propellers rather than risk a potentially dangerous commando raid on a ship carrying 600 activists, as well as why the organizers of the aid convoy did not accept an Israeli offer to inspect and re-route the aid shipment through another port.
"This tragic incident has damaged the Middle East peace process and strengthened extremist elements on both sides of the conflict" commented Green Party Leader Elizabeth May "It is time for a new diplomatic approach that will forestall such desperate tactics"
The Green Party is repeating its call for a comprehensive economic stabilization plan and internationally monitored buffer zone around the Gaza Strip.
Stage One of a Gaza Area Stabilization Plan would include:
- An immediate end to hostilities and the establishment of a sustainable cease-fire arrangement.
- The deployment of a U.N. Peace-Making force within a Neutral Buffer Zone around Gaza who would assume operational responsibility for ending missile attacks on Israel using a combination of political, policing and technical means and methods.
- The establishment of a Green Economic Development Area and Agricultural/Water Research Institute at the Egyptian/Gaza border which would be developed in collaboration with the Egyptian government – the initial stage would be on the Egyptian side – and with long-term financial and technical support from the international community.
- Increased support for primary and secondary education infrastructure and resources as well as significantly enhanced medical and psychological treatment capacity.
- Re-opening border crossing points under U.N. oversight to allow continuous access of humanitarian and construction supplies into Gaza.
Green Party of Canada International Affairs Critic Eric Walton added "because of the intense and chronic nature of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict it’s clear that an effective peace process will require a multi-track approach that simultaneously addresses state security, economic development, environmental protection and human security concerns."