For Immediate Release
A Public Appeal for Solidarity with Omar Ben Ali
A Palestinian refugee from Jenin, in the Israeli occupied West Bank, is stateless and living without status in Justin Trudeau’s Montréal riding.
What: Press conference in support of Omar Ben Ali
When: Thursday July 6, 2017 at 10am.
Where: School of Community and Public Affairs
2149 Mackay Street, métro Guy-Concordia
Today in Montréal, Omar Ben Ali, a stateless Palestinian refugee, living and working in Canada for almost a decade, is launching a public campaign and appealing directly to Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, for status, justice and dignity.
Omar arrived in Montréal in August 2008, a stateless person fleeing violence and discrimination in occupied Palestine. Despite credible evidence presented to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada in the summer of 2008, documenting that Omar fled Palestine due to real and direct threats faced in the occupied West Bank, Omar’s refugee claim was rejected. At the time, the Canadian immigration demonstrated little consideration of the well-documented reality of the systemic violence faced by Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank on a daily basis. In a 2017 report, Human Rights Watch noted :
“Israel enforces severe and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians’ human rights, and it builds and supports unlawful settlements in the occupied West Bank. Its security forces appear to use excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators and suspected attackers, raising the specter of extra-judicial killings. It has renewed the practice of punitive home demolitions.”
Given that Omar lived under Israeli occupation and under Israeli military law, returning to Palestine is impossible, as Israeli authorities have refused to allow his deportation to the West Bank. As such, Omar remains locked in a legal and bureaucratic bind- with neither the full right to stay, nor the right to return to Palestine.
In many respects, nine years of stress, isolation, and uncertainty have weighed heavily upon Omar. A father of seven children, he has been separated from his wife and family for nearly a decade. Despite these obstacles, Omar has developed a meaningful and important life in Montréal. A valuable member of the Palestinian community, he has participated in many community events and is a well-known fixture in larger networks supporting struggles for justice in this city.
Tadamon! supports Omar Ben Ali’s struggle for status and is calling on the Canadian government to :
1. Immediately grant permanent residency to Omar Ben Ali based upon humanitarian and compassionate grounds,
2. Support Omar Ben Ali’s efforts to reunite with his wife and seven children, who are struggling to survive in the West Bank, in occupied Palestine.
For more information: