(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/8/2009) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said today that two American children trapped under Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip have still not been offered evacuation assistance by the U.S. government.
Yesterday, CAIR sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seeking State Department help for the two American children, ages six and three, whose father graduated 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 CAIR.)
Reached by phone today in Gaza, the father of the American children said no U.S. officials have contacted him about possible evacuation.
An unknown number of other American citizens are similarly vulnerable to Israeli attacks in Gaza.
“Concern for these American children grows, as does the list of Israeli atrocities carried out against the civilian population in Gaza,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Hooper noted a report from the International Committee of the Red Cross describing “shocking” scenes in Gaza that include finding small children next to their mothers’ corpses. The humanitarian group accused Israel of failing to meet it obligation under international law to care for the wounded in combat areas.
Pierre Wettach, an International Red Cross representative for Israel and the Palestinian areas, said: “The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded.”
SEE: Gaza Children Found With Mothers’ Corpses (NY Times)
SEE ALSO: U.N. Suspends Aid Deliveries to Gaza Strip (Wash. Post)
35 Found Dead in Rubble of Gaza Battle Zone (Haaretz)
Israel Breaking Int’l Law, Letting Children Starve in Gaza (Reuters)
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.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com