As Rafah Burns, Hundreds Confront Military and Weapons Company Representatives at CANSEC Arms Fair in Ottawa

World BEYOND War
The People's Voice

Ottawa — A large protest is blocking the entrances to CANSEC, North America’s biggest weapons and military convention. Hundreds of demonstrators are confronting representatives of Israeli and Canadian militaries and weapons companies over their complicity in the killing of more than 36,000 Palestinians in Gaza as Israel has carried out a prolonged assault from the air, sea, and on the ground over the past seven and a half months. The criminality of Israel’s actions, and of Canada’s complicity with them, is underscored by the horrific killing of 45 Palestinians by an Israeli air strike on a camp for displaced people in Rafah. At least 23 women and children died in the attack, many burned to death as fire engulfed their tents.

“Dozens of people were burned alive in Israel’s attacks on a displaced persons camp in Rafah this week, a spot Israel had designated a ‘safe’ zone. And the people profiting from this atrocity, who have been providing the weaponry for the slaughter of tens of thousands of Palestinians, are right here at CANSEC,” said Rachel Small, organizer with World BEYOND War. “Today we are making it impossible for anyone to come anywhere near this weapons fair without confronting the war crimes and devastating bloodshed these arms dealers and military representatives are complicit in.”

Many of the weapons companies currently arming the Israeli military’s assault on Gaza are exhibiting and presenting at CANSEC, including: Elbit Systems, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, L3Harris, Leonardo, and dozens more. Israeli government and military representatives had also planned to be in attendance. Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair was scheduled to give the keynote address at the Official Opening Breakfast for CANSEC starting at 7:45AM on Wednesday. Blair recently oversaw DND’s purchase of $32.2 million dollars worth of Spike LR2 missiles, which are made by Israeli state-owned weapons giant Rafael Advanced Defense System, and are being used by Israel in Gaza.

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