July 12, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:“Canada rejects UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s uncalled-for criticism of Israel’s response to rocket attacks from Gaza. Focusing her comments on Israel is neither helpful nor reflective of the reality of this crisis.“There must be no moral equivalence between Hamas, a listed terrorist organization, and its blatant disregard for human life, and the liberal democratic State of Israel’s duty and obligation to defend its people from cowardly and indiscriminate attacks.“Canada mourns the death and suffering of innocent civilians in Gaza. Responsibility rests solely with Hamas and its allies, who launched and continue to feed this crisis.“The Israel Defense Forces have taken extraordinary steps to reduce civilian casualties in very difficult and trying conditions. Israel should be commended—not criticized—for these efforts in the face of an enemy clearly determined to put civilians, from both sides, in mortal danger to suit its own purposes.
“Canada calls on Hamas and other militant groups to end the rocket attacks on Israel and bring an end to the ongoing violence that threatens the lives of innocent Israelis and Palestinians. The path chosen by Hamas and its allies does not lead to peace.”