The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), expressed grave concerns over the further escalation of violence on the people of Gaza with the continued bombing and recent ground invasion of troops by Israel.
Four days ago there were initial reports that showed a promising ceasefire brokered by Egypt similar to its ceasefire agreement in 2012, but later details revealed that it did not address the core issues of ending the blockade of Gaza and allowing free movement with the opening of border crossings. It was also revealed that none of the Palestinian groups involved in the fighting were consulted on the terms of the ceasefire. Israel was quick to accept Egypt's haphazard plan because it maintained the status quo rather than offering a meaningful peace.
In a recent disturbing news report, four Palestinian children while playing soccer, were killed on a beach by shells coming from Israeli naval vessels along the Gaza coast. Several news reporters who were in a hotel close to the beach rushed and attempted to save the children.
Another incident involved the Israeli bombing of al-Wafa Hospital, the only rehabilitation hospital in Gaza. Doctors were forced to evacuate 17 patients, most of them unable to move themselves.
The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) reported several days ago that the repeated bombing by Israel in Gaza has severely damaged the water and sewage system. Over hundreds of thousands of Gazans are now without water and the situation will worsen if the bombings continue. There is also a danger of contaminated drinking water and an increase of disease.
These recent incidents have called into question Israel's claim that they are only targeting groups who have been firing rockets and mortar shells into Israel.
Earlier this week, at the White House Iftar that traditionally celebrates the contributions of American Muslims, the President spoke of the escalating situation in Gaza. ISNA was shocked at the President's remarks and continued support for military action. Imam Mohamed Magid, President of ISNA, was in attendance and directly voiced his disappointment to White House senior officials.
In a statement, ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid said:
"We are calling on President Obama to address the issue of the killing of civilians and the number of people losing their lives every day. A ceasefire negotiated and agreed by both parties must be proposed to put an end to the violence and bring lasting peace that ends the inhumane blockade and humanitarian crisis in Gaza."
ISNA is encouraging all of its members and supporters to take the following actions:
1. Contact your US House Representative http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
2. Contact your two US Senators for your state http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
3. White House Comment Line http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call
4. Contact the State Department Call 202-647-4000 and ask for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
5. Monitor media on the conflict and provide feedback through phone calls and email to express your opinion.