Statement regarding interception of Women's Peace Boat to Gaza on Oct. 6

(OTTAWA) – The Green Party of Canada calls upon the government of Israel to release the members of the Women’s Peace Boat, intercepted Thursday morning off the coast of Gaza. The Peace Boat sailed toward Gaza, which is currently under an Israeli naval blockade, to draw attention to the poor conditions in Gaza exacerbated by the blockade. The boat contained 13 women from various nations, including Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire and Green Party of New Zealand MP Marama Davidson.

"Israel's legitimate responsibility to protect its population does not require a blockade that does not distinguish between legal and illegal traffic," said GPC International Affairs Critic Jeff Wheeldon. “Failure to differentiate between weapons smugglers on one side and high-profile peace advocates, members of parliament, and Nobel laureates on the other is insulting to the international community and problematic for the peace process. The illegal seizure of a well-publicized and long-anticipated Peace Boat and arrests illustrates the excessive nature of the blockade."

The Green Party of Canada would also like to add its voice to those of national governments and international organizations condemning the approval of another Israeli settlement in the West Bank, and calls on both sides to avoid escalating violence and return to the negotiating table.

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