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IIC Condemns the Attack on Gaza

IIC Condemns the Attack on Gaza

(WASHINGTON DC - December 28, 2008) The Islamic Information Center strongly condemns Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip in Palestine which have claimed the lives of nearly three hundred innocent individuals, including women and children. More than seven hundred other individuals were grievously harmed in these attacks, and the crisis is on going. IIC calls for an immediate halt to aggression on both sides of the conflict, and for emergency humanitarian aid to be provided to the innocent people of Palestine. The BBC has been tracking the conflict via photo documentary.

The humanitarian crisis has reached appalling levels, as the Red Cross reports that the injured are so numerous that Gaza hospitals are overwhelmed, and cannot care for their patients.

A Palestinian envoy called on the United Nations to condemn the deadly violence in Gaza as Israeli airstrikes continue. "There is no justification for punishing 1.5 million in the Gaza Strip because of the actions of a few," said Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour.

The attacks have been condemned by organizations and countries around the world. The Council of American Islamic Relations had this to say:

"We also call on world leaders to take direct action to end Israel's counterproductive and wildly disproportionate attacks and to end the humanitarian siege of Gaza, which led to the recent breakdown of the ceasefire."

CAIR noted that the European Union (EU), Russia, the UN Secretary-General, the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and other international bodies are all urging Israel to end it attacks.

Middle East envoy Tony Blair deplored the "tragic of loss of life," while French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned Israel's "disproportionate use of force."

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the Israeli attacks were "inflicting an unacceptable toll on Palestinian civilians and will only worsen the humanitarian crisis as well as complicate the search for a peaceful solution." "

Amnesty International joined in the calls for an immediate halt to aggression by saying the following:

"Amnesty International calls on Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups to immediately halt the unlawful attacks carried out as part of the escalation of violence which has caused the death of some 280 Palestinians and one Israeli civilian since December 27.

This is the highest level of Palestinian fatalities and casualties in four decades of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Scores of unarmed civilians, as well as police personnel who were not directly participating in the hostilities, are among the Palestinian victims of the Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip."

"Such disproportionate use of force by Israel is unlawful and risks igniting further violence in the whole region," said Amnesty International. "The escalation of violence comes at a time when the civilian population already faces a daily struggle for survival due to the Israeli blockade which has prevented even food and medicines from entering Gaza."

Turkey's prime minister on Sunday denounced Israel's air assault on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip as a "crime against humanity" and called for them to end.

Sentiments are similar in England, as angry protests have been held outside the Israeli embassy in London, as the UK government urged an "immediate halt to all violence" in Gaza.

Catholic Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday also decried the "endless" bloodshed in the Holy Land and urged all sides to end violence as Israel continued its deadly assault on Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel's military offensive against Gaza militants is "liable to take longer than we can foresee at this moment." Furthermore, news reports have indicated that Israel plans to re-invade Gaza for another possible occupation. Israeli defense officials, speaking on condition on anonymity because they were discussing classified information, said the Israeli operation would likely begin with surgical airstrikes against rocket launchers and continue with a land invasion.

ENDS

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