(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/23/2007) – The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said today that two Muslim families, one from Tennessee and the other from Arizona, have finally been evacuated from the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the U.S. Department of State.

The families joined two busloads of Americans who had been blocked by Israeli authorities from leaving Gaza since the escalation of hostilities there in June.

One six-year-old child of the Tennessee family was hospitalized soon after the evacuation. His illness had been one of the reasons CAIR earlier this month called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to expedite the evacuation of all Americans stranded in Gaza.

SEE: CAIR Asks Sec. Rice to Help Tenn. Family Trapped in Gaza

“We thank the Department of State for assisting these American citizens and permanent residents who were trapped under such difficult conditions,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

Hooper said CAIR had been working with the Tennessee and Arizona families to secure their exit from Gaza.

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 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.

CONTACT: CAIR-AZ Civil Rights Director Mohammed Abuhannoud, 602-460-9987; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com


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