South Har Hebron Hills
South Har Hebron HillsCourtesy

Following the violent events over last week in the South Hebron Hills region, in which an Israeli shepherd was critically wounded, this afternoon members of the Canadian military visited an area under full IDF military closure orders. The Canadian officers, accompanied by Palestinian Authority Police, Arabs and a group of anarchists, demanded entry to the Maon Farm.

Last month, another Canadian military delegation was spotted in Judea and Samaria, where they met with Palestinian Arab activists at a number of confrontation sites and illegal structures, in Mount Hebron and eastern Gush Etzion.

The Regavim Movement provided background: “These officers are part of a delegation of military personnel to the Proteus Project, created during the Clinton Administration’s efforts to promote the ‘Road Map to Peace.’ Eight NATO member-states send military representatives to Project Proteus, whose mandate is ‘capacity building’ for the Palestinian Police; in other words, to train and empower law enforcement forces that are supposed to keep the peace in Areas A and B. The members of the Proteus Project have absolutely no mandate in Area C; nonetheless, recently they have been spotted all over the areas under Israeli jurisdiction - visits not coordinated with the IDF that constitute a gross violation of Israeli and international law."

“The free-for-all in Area C is out of control,” says Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim. “High-ranking officers of the Canadian Armed Forces roaming around the territory, meeting with criminals and agitators, is not only a serious diplomatic problem, it is unprecedented, unacceptable – and outright dangerous. Over a month ago we alerted the Canadian Embassy in Israel, as well as our own Prime Minister and Defense Minister, to this situation, and demanded a thorough investigation to determine who is responsible. We continue to demand that the Canadian delegation be sent home immediately, and that the other delegations be put on notice that this impudent violation of Israel’s law and authority will not be tolerated. The silence on the part of our elected officials speaks louder than words: This is apparently the policy of the Ministry of Defense, another link in the domino-effect that has been set in motion over the past year to create a de facto Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria.”