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 Ceasefire, pause and humanitarian truce: a futile semantic debate? /></p>
<p> Justin Tang The Canadian Press Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stands up during question period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Tuesday. </p>
<p>Ceasefire, humanitarian pauses, truce… The terms to define a cessation of bombings between Israel and Hamas have been multiplying in Ottawa in recent days — not without sowing a certain confusion on the hill.</p>
<p>After carefully avoiding calling for a ceasefire since the start of the conflict, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally said he was in favor of “humanitarian pauses” on Tuesday, before entering the House.</p>
<p> All opposition parties, however, opted for a different term. Conservatives are calling for “temporary pauses in military activities.” The Bloc Québécois calls for a humanitarian truce, while the New Democratic Party (NDP) calls for a ceasefire.</p>
<p>Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly also used the term “humanitarian pause” on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, but quickly deleted her post to correct it by speaking of “humanitarian pauses”, this time in the plural. p> </p>
<p>Futile semantic debate or truly meaningful word choice? The fundamental difference lies rather between the notion of “ceasefire” and other terms, according to Olivier Arvisais, professor in the Department of Didactics of the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal ( UQAM).</p>
<p>“The ceasefire is a term that is codified in the sense of international humanitarian law. It refers to something very specific. On the other hand, the whole question of choosing the word between truce and break is a bit incidental,” indicates the professor in an interview with <i>Devoir</i>.</p>
<p>Unlike a cease-fire fire, which implies the end of conflict and the end of fighting, the concepts of “truce” and “pause” are essentially synonymous and rather imply a temporary cessation of hostilities.</p>
<p>“It has nothing to do with the resolution of the conflict in general, it is only […] for humanitarian reasons and to protect civilians,” explains Frédéric Mégret, professor of law at McGill University. These avenues are generally of short duration, of a few hours or a few days.</p>
<p>Small subtlety: unlike a break, a truce generally includes the start of negotiations between the parties, underlines UQAM professor Olivier Arvisais.</p>
<h2 class=Right to defend oneself

Prime Minister Trudeau's idea of ​​”humanitarian pauses” therefore fundamentally differs from that of around thirty federal MPs – including one twenty liberals — who spoke out in favor of an immediate ceasefire.

Before entering question period in Ottawa on Wednesday, Prime Minister Trudeau indicated that the humanitarian pauses are intended to allow the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, to allow the release of hostages and the evacuation of civilians . “We recognize that Israel has the right to defend itself,” he added.

“It is certain that if there are certain countries which support Israel's military intervention in Gaza following the Hamas attack, it may become complicated for them to demand a ceasefire, especially if they support Israel's right to defend itself,” believes Olivier Arvisais.

While expressing support for Israel, the White House also encouraged “a humanitarian pause” from the fighting to facilitate the delivery of aid to Gaza. Many other countries, including France, are calling for a humanitarian pause in the bombing carried out by Israel.

“I think that all Western nations, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, have used the same language. We are not asking for a ceasefire. We understand that Israel must have the capacity to defend itself,” responded Montreal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather on Wednesday.

“However, we want humanitarian aid to reach its destination, and 'pause' simply means temporarily putting your weapons on standby while that happens. I think it's a reasonable position,” he continued.

On Tuesday, the UN secretary-general denounced the “clear violations” of humanitarian law in Gaza and called for a ” immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, provoking the anger of Israel.

Positions in Quebec

In Quebec, two parties have positioned themselves without nuance for a ceasefire in Gaza and Israel, Québec solidaire and the Parti québécois (PQ). According to solidarity elected official Ruba Ghazal, herself of Palestinian origin, we must choose “the camp of peace.”

In the eyes of the PQ, “Hamas attacks must stop, Hamas must release all hostages, Israel must stop targeted or indiscriminate attacks against civilians [and] the blockade of the Palestinian territories must be lifted and humanitarian aid delivered,” wrote PQ MP Pascal Paradis on X on Tuesday.

As for the Coalition Avenir Québec and the Liberal Party of Quebec, they are content to support “a lasting solution by both parties to ensure the right of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace.” They both supported a motion to this effect last week, in which they refused to condemn Israel's military response to Hamas.

With François Carabin< /p>

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116