Ploughshares statement: Setting the record straight on Canada's arms exports to Israel

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

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Canadian officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, have recently claimed that Canada does not export weapons to Israel, and instead has only exported “non-lethal” equipment to that country. Moreover, the Prime Minister stated before Parliament on February 14, 2024, that no export permits have been issued for Canadian arms transfers to Israel since October 7, 2023.

The Foreign Minister’s statement is misleading. The Prime Minister’s is patently false.

Documents recently released by Global Affairs Canada show that Canadian officials authorized nearly $30-million in military goods to Israel since October 7, 2023. These recent arms export authorizations are in addition to the more than $140-million (constant CAD) in military goods Canada has transferred to Israel over the last decade.

Under Canada’s export control regime, there exists no category for “non-lethal” arms exports. The relevant question is whether Canada has authorized the export of controlled military goods to Israel – and it has.

Given that the Government of Canada recognizes all these proposed exports as military goods, the claim that Canada only exports “non-lethal” equipment to Israel is misleading. Technology does not need be lethal itself to otherwise enable lethal operations.

We urge the Government of Canada to clarify and rectify its messaging on this matter.

Project Ploughshares also reiterates its call for Canada to end the supply of military goods to Israel, as per its obligations under the Export and Import Permits Act and the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

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