Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition signed by a large number of Canadian citizens who identify themselves as “grandmothers for Gilad Shalit”. This petition is grounded in a profound commitment to international law and human rights.
The petitioners protest his abduction from Israel during a ceasefire arrangement with Hamas-ruled Gaza, where he has been held in complete isolation for more than four years and, as the petitioners note, has been denied any and all rights afforded to him under international humanitarian law.
Accordingly, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to insist that the Red Cross, the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies uphold the applicable standards of international humanitarian law, including proof of life, visitation rights and communication between him and his family as a bare minimum. They also call upon the Government of Canada to condition Canadian aid transferred to Gaza on adherence to these basic principles: that the Palestinian Authority commit itself to his repatriation and that Canada use its good offices to put an end to these violations of international humanitarian law to secure his release and return him to his family as a matter of fundamental decency and justice.