From: Ismail Zayid
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 6:17 PM
Subject: Canadian Support for UNRWA.

Canada Palestine Association,
P.O.Box, 1085,
Halifax, NS, B3J 2X1
The Right Hon. Mr Pierre Pettigrew,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Dear Mr. Pettigrew:
We are calling on you, to maintain if not increase support for the humanitarian work that the United Nations for Relief and Work Agency [UNRWA], does for the Palestinian refugees. There are today five million Palestinian refugees, the largest refugee population in the world, who were systematically expelled from their homes in Palestine by Israel. These refugees are living in intolerable conditions in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. They are being barely sustained by the UNRWA contribution in the fields of health, education and nutrition.
The news of an organised campaign by Israel and Israeli apologists in Canada, calling on our government to stop the aid to UNRWA, is the height of outrageous hypocrisy and inhumanity. The state of Israel has committed the crime of expelling these refugees from their homes, and continues to refuse to allow them the right to return to their homes, in continued defiance of international law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and repeated UN resolutions. Instead of bringing aid and restitution to the Palestinian refugees, Israel is continuing its murderous campaign against these refugees in Gaza, Rafah, Balata and Jenin refugee camps. Israeli practices against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, including detention without charge or trial, torture, collective punishments, extra-judicial assassination and murder by aircraft bombing and missiles, demolition of thousands of homes and expropriation of land for the creation of illegal Jewish settlements, are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and thus identified by international law as war crimes.
This imposes a responsibility on Canada, as a High Contracting Party, as stated in Article One of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to take action to enforce Israeli compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Israeli charges against UNRWA and its Coordinator, Mr. Hansen, are mendacious and have been shown to be utterly false.
Finally, Sir, we are calling on our government to act, in accordance with the principles of human rights and international legitimacy that we claim to uphold, and sustain our contribution to UNRWA, and call on the international community, to enforce UN resolutions and allow the Palestinian refugees the right of choice to return to their homes.
Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.
President, Canada Palestine Association.