ADC Demands Immediate Investigation into Israeli Massacre at UN School
Washington, DC | January 6, 2009 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) calls on the United Nations (UN), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the International Community to investigate Israel‘s bombing of a UN-operated school in Gaza, killing over 40 Palestinians. ADC also called on the Bush Administration and President-elect Obama to publicly address and repudiate today‘s tragedy and the ongoing violence and humanitarian crisis. The bombing of civilian populations is a violation of international humanitarian law and the laws of war including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
According to reports, Israel bombed this UN-operated school, located in the Jabaliya refugee camp, killing many civilians who had sought shelter from Israel‘s continued bombardment and blockade of the Gaza Strip. The tactics of the Israeli Army, using heavy artillery, helicopter fire and massive bombs from fighter jets on the dense and overwhelmingly civilian Gaza Strip has caused more than 640 civilian deaths and 3,000 injuries, some people being maimed for life. The Israeli army said four of its soldiers had been killed in two separate friendly-fire incidents on Tuesday, when errant Israeli tank shells hit their positions and 60 Israelis have been injured by rocket attacks launched from Gaza into southern Israel.
The residents of Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas in the World, are surrounded by Israel‘s military occupation and they have no place to take refuge from the ongoing onslaught. More than 18 months ago, Israel began to blockade Gaza, leaving the residents of Gaza with limited to no access to water, electricity, food, and medicine. Even before Israel began its military assault ten days ago there was a growing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, now the situation is even more dire and desperate.
Food is hard to come by because of Israel‘s ongoing blockade of Gaza and now it‘s even more expensive for those who can actually afford to buy food. Gaza’s water authorities indicated wells in Gaza are not working due to lack of power and damage to the pipes, while others are operating only partially.
Hospitals are overwhelmed and lack basic necessities, if people can even get to the hospitals. Emergency aid workers have been unable to reach the wounded and supplies for hospitals are being held up and not reaching their destinations. Hospitals are relying on backup generators for electricity and rolling electricity cuts leave patients in jeopardy.
NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non sectarian and non partisan, is the largest Arab-American civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980, by former Senator James Abourezk to protect the civil rights of people of Arab descent in the United States and to promote the cultural heritage of the Arabs. ADC has 38 chapters nationwide, including chapters in every major city in the country, and members in all 50 states.
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