In Canadian Politics, Human Rights, Middle East

In December 2015, Rehab Nazzal, a Palestinian-Canadian artist who was pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Western Ontario, was shot by an Israeli sniper in Bethlehem.

At the time that she was shot, Rehab was photographing an Israeli ‘skunk truck’ which was spraying a highly noxious fluid onto the homes of Palestinians.

Ms. Nazzal posed no threat to anyone and there was no conceivable justification for her shooting.

Moreover, when a Palestinian ambulance arrived at the scene to treat Ms. Nazzal, Israeli forces rained tear gas down on the ambulance in an apparent effort to impede her medical treatment. This was a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.

Subsequently, Ms. Nazzal retained me to represent her in her dealings with the Canadian government in regard to the crimes committed against her by Israeli forces. I agreed to act for her on a pro bono basis.

During the four years of my representation of Rehab, the Canadian government has ignored every one of the many requests I have made on Rehab’s behalf. Specifically, I have repeatedly requested that our government demand that the Israeli government hold accountable the soldiers who committed these crimes. Not only has there been no apparent effort to hold those soldiers accountable, but the Canadian government refuses even to disclose to us what efforts – if any – it has made to vindicate Rehab’s rights.

Today, I filed a Complaint with Canada’s Information Commissioner, which can be read here.

Our complaint to the Information Commissioner recounts the history of this affair. It should arouse the indignation of any Canadian who expects our government to stand up for the rights of Canadians and the dignity of the oppressed.



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  • ralphiesmom

    Thanks, Dimitri, for standing up for Palestinians and Palestine. An awesome responsibility that you have taken on.

  • Rick Roussin

    I regret the Trudeau Government seems unconcerned with the plight of Palestinians. even though it is not as actively racist as the previous Harper Government this Government does little to protest the many human rights violations done to the captive populations in the occupied territories or within Israel itself.. I think most Canadians are truly sympathetic to the Palestinian people

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