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Canada-West Bank-the Gaza Strip relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada enjoys positive relations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), the governmental entity in the West Bank and Gaza. Canada recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination and supports the creation of a sovereign, independent, viable, democratic and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, as part of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace settlement.

In accordance with the 1993 Oslo Accords, Canada’s representative office in Ramallah has responsibility for managing the Government of Canada’s relationship with the PA. The representative office plays a key role in Canada’s political, trade and international assistance efforts in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian General Delegation, which opened in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1995, represents Palestinian interests in Canada. Canada has listed Hamas as a terrorist organization pursuant to the Canadian Criminal Code. The Government of Canada has no contact with Hamas.

Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, which can only be achieved through a two-state solution resulting from direct negotiations between the parties. Canada aims to uphold and promote the two-state solution by helping to establish a law-based, peaceful and prosperous society that can ultimately become a state for the Palestinians, and a stable and secure neighbour for Israel. Unilateral actions that prejudge the outcome of direct negotiations and further jeopardize the prospects for a two-state solution must be avoided.

For more information, refer to Canadian policy on key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trade relations

Pursuant to the Paris Protocol, Palestinian exports to Canada benefit from preferential treatment offered in the 1997 Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) and benefit from improvements in the modernized CIFTA. Furthermore, in 1999, Canada concluded the Joint Canadian-Palestinian Framework on Economic Cooperation and Trade Between Canada and the Palestine Liberation Organization on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which confirmed PA approval to apply preferential tariffs under CIFTA to goods produced in the West Bank and Gaza. Sectors such as information and communications technology, life sciences and infrastructure hold niche opportunities for Canadian businesses within the Palestinian economy.

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Development and humanitarian assistance

Canada’s international assistance in the West Bank and Gaza reinforces this goal of a two-state solution and is aligned with Palestinian needs and Canadian priorities. Canada supports efforts to help advance the peace process, promote security and the rule of law, stimulate economic growth and deliver humanitarian assistance.

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