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Feasibility of two-state solution has increased since Israel-Hamas war started: Canada’s foreign minister

By Spencer Van Dyk

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    OTTAWA (CTV Network) — Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly says she believes a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is more possible to achieve now than before the Israel-Hamas war began more than two months ago.

When asked by CTV’s Question Period host Vassy Kapelos in an interview airing Sunday whether she thinks the feasibility of a two-state solution has diminished since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, Joly said she thinks “the contrary.”

“I think because this conflict is so difficult for Israel, so difficult for the Palestinians, so difficult for the world, not only in Canada because we’ve seen the rise of antisemitism, the rise of Islamophobia and just the rise of tension,” she said.

“But that’s the case here, that’s the case in Europe, that’s the case south of the border, that’s the case in Arab countries,” she added. “So more than ever, many, many countries are preoccupied by the state of the region.”

Joly said she believes that was “not as much the case” before the Oct. 7 attacks, which have renewed a global focus on the Middle East, prompting her to have “many conversations” on the topic with her counterparts in the region, because “it is also in the interest of the world to see a two-state solution happening.”

The Canadian government has been calling for a two-state solution in the region, renewing that push in a recent joint statement with Australia and New Zealand, which also calls for “efforts towards a sustainable ceasefire.”

“We’ve also said that Hamas being a terrorist organization should not be involved in any future governance of Gaza,” Joly told Kapelos. “Because we believe that there is a path towards a two-state solution, and we need to make sure that we get to that two-state solution process.”

When asked what she thinks of the feasibility of such a compromise becoming a sustainable reality — considering only about a third of Israelis and Palestinians believe it is possible, according to some polling — Joly said “there is no other choice.”

“And there’s no other path,” she said. “And we need to have a constructive government in Israel that believes in the two-state solution, and we need to have the right Palestinian voices, which are not Hamas, that believe in it.”

“It’s been 30 years that we’ve been talking about it, but there’s been a lot of actions to undermine it, including on both sides,” she added. “And I think as Western leaders, we have to reckon that we haven’t done a good job enough to bring this solution to the table, talking about it, but not enough actions.”

Joly said she’s “committed” to doing the work and finding the “right parties at the table to give the right credibility,” to those discussions.

Joly in her interview also discussed whether she believes Israel has breached international humanitarian law in its response to the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas, and whether Canada may ever designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist entity.

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