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Muslims, Allies Demand Biden 'Reverse Course' On Gaza

03.04.2024 22:42

'American people do not want a change in rhetoric. The American people want a concrete change in policy,' groups say in letter to US president.

Eighty Muslim, Palestinian and allied groups sent a letter Wednesday to US President Joe Biden to object to his decisions to transfer additional weapons to Israel and "falsely" certify that the Israeli government's war against the Gaza Strip complies with US law.

"Your administration is publicly discouraging Israel from launching a full-scale invasion of Rafah unless there is a plan to somehow protect civilians, but that caveat is essentially a green light for Israel to ethnically cleanse Rafah and then reduce the city to rubble like it has done elsewhere," the organizations wrote in the letter.

The Biden administration refuses to take "any concrete action" to force Israel to stop starving and bombing the civilian population, it said.

"The decisions to flout U.S. law by falsely certifying Israel's compliance and ship more weapons to the (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu government represent the latest examples of this pattern.

"The American people do not want a change in rhetoric. The American people want a concrete change in policy," it added.

The letter came one day after the White House was forced to scale back plans for a Ramadan iftar after American Muslim leaders declined to attend.

Dozens of Muslim American community members and their allies braved rain, wind and frigid temperatures Tuesday to stage a fast-breaking protest outside the White House and demand the president call for an immediate permanent cease-fire to halt the bloodshed in the besieged Gaza Strip.

'We urge you to listen to voices of reason'

The groups urged Biden in the letter to recognize that Israel's actions in Gaza violate US law and to suspend the transfer of all weapons to Israel.

They also asked Biden to use American leverage to secure an "immediate, permanent" cease-fire, the "unimpeded" opening of all land crossings for humanitarian aid, the release of all hostages and political prisoners and to pursue a "just and lasting peace through an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid policies."

"We urge you to listen to voices of reason and morality inside and outside of the administration.

"Risking your presidential legacy and the reputation of our nation around the world to enable the Netanyahu government's genocide has been a disastrous decision. We implore you to reverse course before thousands more die," they added.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas which killed less than 1,200 people.

Nearly 32,800 Palestinians have since been killed and 75,300 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which on Thursday asked Tel Aviv to do more to prevent famine in Gaza. -

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