Palestinian-Canadians rally in Halifax to protest Israeli annexation
Group calls on Ottawa to oppose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's West Bank plans
Hundreds of people gathered in Halifax Wednesday to show their support of Palestinians and to voice opposition to an Israeli plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
Israel's plan to bring roughly 30 per cent of the territory under Israeli control has drawn condemnation from the United Nations and many of Israel's close allies.
The annexation was set to begin Wednesday, but Israeli officials said at the last moment the plan will be put on hold. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he held discussions Wednesday with American diplomats and "additional discussions will be be held in the coming days."
Many from the Palestinian-Canadian community in Halifax rallied on the waterfront to speak against the plan.
Robin Perry was one of the organizers of the protest, which was designed to send a message to MPs and to the federal government.
"I think just really driving home the goal of the demonstration today, which is to show solidarity for Palestinian people and their fight for self-determination and the right to return," she said.
"Just calling for our government to actively oppose this illegal annexation, which violates international law."
Co-organizer Katerina Nikas agreed.
"All of our MPs should be signing a pledge and telling PM Justin Trudeau that this is a direct violation of international law," she said. "Annexation is illegal, and in 2020 this is not acceptable."
Rana Zaman is a community activist who helped organize the events. She said if Canada is serious about international human rights, it must speak out against the plan.
"The Palestinians who live here, who contribute here, consider themselves citizens here. Now every day Canada Day comes, they will have friends, family, countrymen that have been displaced, and they will remember this great atrocity," she said of the proposed annexation.
The Palestinian demonstrators were supported by other groups, including Indigenous rights activists and people who support abolishing the police.