Canada has lodged a formal complaint with the Palestinian Authority over its chairman Mahmoud Abbas's recent accusations against Israel, The National Post reported.
The move came after Abbas alleged in a speech to the European Parliament in Brussels last week that Israeli rabbis had plotted to murder Palestinians by poisoning their wells.
“Just a week ago, a week, a group of rabbis in Israel announced, in a clear announcement, demanding their government, to poison, to poison, the water of the Palestinians,” he said. “Is this not incitement? Is this not clear incitement, to the mass murder of the Palestinian people?”
Abbas later retracted the comments, but not before Canada voiced its displeasure, noted The National Post.
“Senior Global Affairs officials raised our serious concerns with Palestinian officials within 24 hours of President Abbas’s original comments,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s spokesman, Joseph Pickerill.
“Canada found those comments completely unacceptable, and was pleased to see that President Abbas fully and formally retracted these baseless allegations,” he added.
The National Post noted that Dion has said Canada’s actions in the Middle East will be guided by the need for an enduring peace between Israelis and Palestinians. To that end, he said Canada would not hesitate from speaking out whenever one side does something that the Liberal government thinks will hurt peace prospects.
Abbas's comments were condemned by Israel's UN ambassador Danny Danon, who said the PA chairman “revealed his true colors”.
Jewish groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Abbas as well for rekindling old anti-Semitic stereotypes.