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CAIR Welcomes State Department Call for End of Collective Punishment Practice by Israel, Urges More Pressure

(WASHINGTON D.C, 7/8/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the U.S. State Department’s call for an end to Israel’s illegal collective punishment demolitions of Palestinian homes following the leveling of a house in which the family of a Palestinian-American attack suspect was living.  

SEE: Israel levels West Bank home of Palestinian American attack suspect

Israel has a policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians it suspects are guilty of attacks, effectively punishing entire families for the alleged actions of an individual. [NOTE: Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishment is a war crime. By collective punishment, the drafters of the Geneva Conventions had in mind the reprisal killings of World War I and World War II. Additional Protocol II of 1977 explicitly forbids collective punishment.]  

A statement by the U.S. embassy said all sides should “refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution. This certainly includes the punitive demolition of Palestinian homes.” “As we stated numerous times, the home of an entire family should not be demolished for the actions of one individual,” the embassy said.

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

We welcome the State Department’s recognition of the injustice of the use of illegal home demolitions as collective punishment of Palestinian families. We urge the Biden administration to put more pressure on Israel, which has committed countless – and ongoing — human rights violations and war crimes against the Palestinian people. It is time for an end to the ‘both-sides’ approach. Our nation must urge Israel to end its regime of apartheid and its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.”

Awad noted that CAIR has previously called on the Biden administration to hold Israel accountable for its violations of human rights and end support for Israeli aggression. 

SEE: CAIR Calls on Biden Administration to Condemn Israel’s Ongoing Demolition of Palestinian Family Homes, Businesses in Silwan

CAIR Joins 100+ National Groups Calling on Biden to Stop Weapons Sales to Israel

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CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.       

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.       

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Department Director Robert McCaw, 202-999-8292,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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