(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/12/2009) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today issued a call for American sponsors willing to assist families of U.S. citizens who may be evacuated this week from the Gaza Strip.
SEE: U.S. Preparing Evacuation of 150 Americans
State Department officials tell CAIR that some of the almost 150 potential evacuees do not have family members in the United States.A number of those seeking evacuation are non-citizen parents of young American-born children.
The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group is calling on individuals and relief groups to offer support. Potential sponsors would have to provide all the needs of evacuees for a period of six months, demonstrate financial ability and submit an I-134 “Affidavit of Support” form.
CAIR has been seeking State Department assistance in evacuating two American children, ages six and three, along with all the other Americans in Gaza. The father of the two children said bullets fired from an Israeli tank hit the family home in Beit Hanoun on Saturday. He said his brother’s nearby two-story home was destroyed today by the Israelis.
The death toll from Israeli attacks on Gaza has topped 900, with many women and children among the dead and more than 4000 injured. In its attacks, Israel has denied access to wounded civilians and has targeted homes, schools, mosques, universities, medical and United Nations personnel, a hospital, and a church. A leading human rights group has accused Israel of using white-phosphorus munitions in its attacks on civilian areas.
SEE: 1 Dead, Dozens Injured in Gaza by Suspected White Phosphorus Munitions
SEE ALSO: Gaza War Comparable to Sabra and Shatila Massacre: Medics (AFP)
Israeli Missile Reduces Church-Backed Hospital to Rubble
The United Nations’ top human rights official said Friday that the Israeli military may have committed war crimes in Gaza.
SEE: UN Human Rights Chief Accuses Israel of War Crimes
SEE ALSO: Gaza “No Place for Civilians”: ICRC (Reuters)
UN Human Rights Council Condemns Israeli Military Action
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org