Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has expressed the country's dissatisfaction with the Israeli government's plans to legalize nine settlements in the West Bank and to build new homes in currently existing settlements.
The statement from Joly came early on Wednesday morning after the United States, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement condemning the plans.
"Canada remains committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel."Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly
“Canada is concerned by the Government of Israel’s announcement that it will attempt to retroactively legalize nine illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank, as well as its plans to pursue the construction of new housing in existing settlements," said Joly.
“Canada strongly opposes the expansion of settlements," she added. "Such unilateral actions jeopardize efforts to achieve comprehensive, just and lasting peace. This has been Canada’s longstanding policy."
Concerns over West Bank violence
Joly also shared concerns regarding violence in Israel and the West Bank.
“We are also deeply disturbed by the growing instability and loss of life in Israel and in the West Bank. Canada stands firmly with the Israeli and Palestinian peoples in their right to live in peace, security, with dignity and without fear. We unequivocally condemn all acts of terrorism and violence against civilians."
Finally, Jolly emphasized Canada's commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Canada remains committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel. Canada stands ready to support all efforts for a two-state solution as the basis for a lasting peace in the region.”
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.