(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/6/2009)- A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today condemned a reported Israeli massacre of more than 60 members of an extended Palestinian family in the Gaza Strip.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) cited a report in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, which states:
“[A]s many as 60 members of the extended Samouni family were killed near their homes in the Gazan town of Zeitoun while nine more died in hospital. Dozens of bodies are believed to remain under the rubble of a large house hit repeatedly by Israeli shelling in the incident. The International Committee of the Red Cross has formally requested permission from the Israeli army to visit the scene of the attack to establish the exact scale of the slaughter.”
SEE: Israel Strike Kills Up to 60 Members of One Family (Telegraph)
“Unfortunately, this unimaginable carnage is being carried out with the political support of our own government,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Elected officials must stand up for justice and demand an end to Israeli war crimes.”
Hooper noted that President-elect Barack Obama today broke his silence on the Gaza crisis to express deep concern about civilian deaths and vowed to push for Middle East peace.
SEE: Obama Breaks Silence on Gaza, Voices Concern (Reuters)
Earlier today, CAIR demanded that the Bush administration condemn the “massacre” of more than 40 Palestinian civilians who sought shelter from Israeli attacks at a United Nations school in the Gaza Strip.
SEE: Israeli Shelling Kills Dozens at UN School in Gaza
SEE ALSO: Israeli Tank Fire Kills 42 at U.N. School
More than 600 Palestinians, including whole families, have already been killed in Israeli attacks.
Israel has barred journalists from entering Gaza to report on the results of its attacks or on the humanitarian crisis caused by its blockade of food, medicine and other essential supplies.
SEE: Israel Puts Media Clamp on Gaza (New York Times)
Yesterday, CAIR outlined 10 positive, pro-active steps American Muslims and other people of conscience can take to help end Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, restore the cease-fire and the flow of humanitarian aid and promote a more balanced U.S. policy in the Middle East.
CAIR’s “10 Steps to Help Gaza” included taking part in the upcoming “Let Gaza Live” National March on Washington this Saturday in Lafayette Park outside the White House (http://www.answercoalition.org) and signing CAIR’s online petition urging American leaders to speak “in favor of peace and justice for all parties in the current humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Gaza Strip” (http://petition.cair.com/).
SEE: 10 Steps You Can Take to Help Gaza
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: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org