Dozens of children, and many more adults, killed. Far more injured. Hundreds of homes damaged, with many people left without theirs.

CUPE Ontario and its International Solidarity Committee strongly condemn the Israeli authorities for their ongoing attack on the Palestinian people in Gaza.

We see through and we openly question the pretext of self-defence to legitimize domination and colonial expansion. The airstrikes on a captive population in residential areas of Gaza undermine all justifications.

We echo our allies in Canada and around the world, including the Independent Jewish Voices and Labour for Palestine-Canada, in their calls for support and solidarity for the Palestinian people. And we echo the calls of Labour Against the Arms Trade, which calls on the Canadian government to stop selling weapons to Israel and other nations waging war on innocent people.

Our government could begin by following the lead of the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese, who has clearly stated that Israel’s air raids on the besieged Gaza Strip “not only are illegal but irresponsible”.

It’s long past time the Government of Canada and all political leaders condemn these actions forcefully and unequivocally. By continuing to support Israeli regime’s war crimes and its apartheid policies against the people of Palestine, the Canadian Government is rightly viewed as being complicit in the crimes against humanity being perpetrated against the Palestinians by Israel.

The Israeli government must stop its recurring bombardment of Gaza, end its illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, allow refugees the right to return to their homeland, ensure the equality of Arab-Palestinians citizens of Israel, end the 17-year siege on Gaza, and immediately allow aid to enter Gaza and ensure the energy supply needed to operate medical facilities is not depleted.

As a union representing more than 280,000 workers across Ontario, throughout the years, CUPE Ontario has passed a number of resolutions and statements in support of Palestinian human rights and has taken a position in support of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement (BDS), which is a global campaign that aims to increase social, economic and political pressures on Israeli government to end their occupation and colonization of Palestinian land and the violent exploitation of Palestinian people and workers.

We call on all labour organizations and unions in Canada and around the world to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their most basic human rights.