For Immediate Release
CAIR Asks Sec. Rice to Help American Children Trapped in Gaza
WASHINGTON - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to help evacuate two American children trapped under Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is seeking State Department help for the two American children, ages six and three,
whose father gradated from George Washington University in Washington,
D.C. The children were born in the District. Friends of the family
contacted CAIR seeking help. (Photos of the family are available from
Reached by phone in Gaza, the father said Israeli bombs had fallen
as close as 100 feet from the family’s house in Beit Hanoun. He said he
has been in touch with the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, but that no
evacuation of American citizens was offered.
An unknown number of other American citizens are similarly
vulnerable to Israeli attacks in Gaza. CAIR has attempted to contact
American officials in the area.
In a letter to Secretary Rice, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad
wrote: “We ask that you intervene personally to ensure that these
American children, and all other U.S. citizens and their accompanying
family members, are safely evacuated from areas under Israeli
Yesterday, CAIR condemned two reported Israeli massacres of
Palestinian civilians. One incident involved the killing of more than
60 members of an extended Palestinian family. Another attack on a
United Nations school in Gaza left more than 40 civilians dead.
SEE: Israel Strike Kills Up to 60 Members of One Family (Telegraph)
More than 650 Palestinians have already been killed in recent
Israeli attacks. Israeli bombs have also targeted mosques, schools,
universities, medical personnel, homes, and a Baptist church.
Israel has barred journalists from entering Gaza to report on the
results of its attacks or on the humanitarian crisis caused by its
blockade of food, medicine and other essential supplies.
SEE: Israel Puts Media Clamp on Gaza (New York Times)
CAIR has outlined 10 positive, pro-active steps American Muslims and
other people of conscience can take to help end Israeli attacks on the
Gaza Strip, restore the cease-fire and the flow of humanitarian aid and
promote a more balanced U.S. policy in the Middle East.
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CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.