—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (March 6, 2008) – The Islamic Circle of North America, a leading grassroots organization of American Muslims, requests people of conscience to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis that is worsening day by day in the Gaza, Palestine due to an impending blockade. Over 1.5 million people live in camps where the basic necessities for the existence of human life are becoming non-existent.
ICNA is asking the United Nations and the United States government to take immediate action to stop the suffering of innocent civilians in Gaza. We are against all forms of injustice and believe in the preservation and sanctity of human life. No individuals or governments have the right to cause so much suffering and devastation to other human beings.
Human rights and development groups including Amnesty International, Save the Children, Cafod, Care International and Christian Aid have released a detained report on the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza. The report states that “Gaza conditions are ‘at 40-year low’”. They continue to say “The situation for 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is worse now than it has ever been since the start of the Israeli military occupation in 1967. The current situation in Gaza is man-made, completely avoidable and, with the necessary political will, can also be reversed.”
The report indicates that Israel’s imposed blockade, specifically restrictions placed on imports and exports has left Gazans unemployed and in extreme poverty. Israel, an occupying force has the obligation of ensuring humane conditions exist in all of Palestine. Not ensuring the allowance of goods, foods and medicines to move in and out of Gaza will lead to a slow brutal death of hundreds of thousands.
The following are some highlights of the report: “The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion”
* In 2008, there are over 1.1 million people – some three-quarters of Gaza’s population – who are dependent on food aid. In less than ten years, the number of families depending on UNRWA food aid has increased ten-folds.
* Unemployment in Gaza is close to 40% and is set to rise to 50%.
* The number of people living in absolute poverty in Gaza has increased sharply. Today, 80% of families in Gaza currently rely on humanitarian aid compared to 63% in 2006.
*As a result of fuel and electricity restrictions, hospitals are currently experiencing power cuts lasting for 8-12 hours a day.
* Between 25-30% of the population of the Gaza Strip does not receive running water in their homes.
To read the full report, go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/06_03_08_gaza.pdf
The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the application of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.
Islamic Circle of North America
Office: (718) 658-1199