Israel uses U.S. weapons to massacre palestinian civilians
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/23/02) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today strongly condemned Israel's use of American taxpayer-supplied weapons to massacre at least 11 Palestinians, including women and children, in an attack on a residential building in the Gaza Strip.
The latest list of dead released by a nearby hospital included two babies ages 18 and 2 months, five children ages 3-5, an 11-year-old and three adults. Israel used an American-made F-16 fighter plane to launch the missile that struck the building.
"The blood of these innocent children is on the hands of those in America's pro-Israel lobby who use their influence to promote congressional and administration policies that provide American tax dollars and tacit support for such attacks," said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad. He said the attack was a violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act.
"Terrorism is defined as the use of violence against civilians to achieve political goals. This premeditated attack on a civilian building in the dead of night is a prime example of state-sponsored terrorism. If our government fails to condemn this massacre, all the official rhetoric about 'zero-tolerance' for terrorism will ring hollow around the Muslim world. There should be one standard for defining terrorism, not one for Israel and one for the rest of the world," said Ahmad.
He added that the recent administration shift away from an even-handed Middle East policy to one that bows to Israeli dictates was obviously viewed as a green-light for the attack. Ahmad also called on American Jewish groups to condemn the attack in the same way that American Muslim organizations have condemned other acts of terrorism.
A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan also condemned the attack, saying: "Israel has the legal and moral responsibility to take all measures to avoid the loss of innocent life; it clearly failed to do so in using a missile against an apartment building...The secretary-general calls on the government of Israel to halt such actions and to conduct itself in a manner that is fully consistent with international humanitarian law."