(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/29/06) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the United States and the international community to repudiate Israel’s kidnapping of dozens of democratically-elected Palestinian officials and cabinet ministers, including the deputy prime minister. CAIR called Israel’s hostage-taking a form of “state terror.”
In a joint statement, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other G8 foreign ministers today said: “The detention of elected members of the Palestinian government and legislature raises particular concerns.”
“Again we see Israel carrying out acts of state terror and the international community offering only a mild and indirect response that will be taken as a ‘green light’ by Israeli officials,” said CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed. “America’s push for democracy in the Muslim world may be dead in the water unless the Bush administration pressures Israel to release the hostages and end its collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”
Ahmed said Israel has a history of taking hostages to be used as “bargaining chips.” Abdel Karim Obeid and Mustafa Dirani were kidnapped by Israel from southern Lebanon and held for a number of years in an attempt to gain the release of an Israeli airman shot down over Lebanon in 1986.
Yesterday, CAIR said Israel’s targeting of the Palestinian civilian infrastructure is a war crime that must be condemned by the Bush administration.
As it turns out, a Palestinian power plant bombed by Israel on Tuesday is insured by a U.S. government agency, and American funds may be used to pay for the damage. The destruction of the power plant may also lead to a humanitarian disaster because the plant’s electricity is essential for pumps that provide water to Gaza.
SEE: Gaza Power Plant Hit by Israeli Airstrike is Insured by US Agency (Boston Globe)
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 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.
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