U.S. Must Protect Americans from Illegal Israeli Detentions

Category: World Affairs Topics: Jenin, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Occupation, Palestine Views: 2135

An American physician from California who was visiting the Occupied Territories on a fact-finding mission for a medical relief organization has been detained by Israeli authorities after reporting on the death and destruction he witnessed in the Jenin refugee camp. Another American citizen from Texas, Ms. Dallel Mohammed with the relief group Kinder USA, who has also been detained by the Israelis.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and American Muslims for Jerusalem (AMJ) are asking all American Muslims and people of conscience to take the time now to hold the U.S. Government accountable for the safety and security of American citizens.

In a shocking assault on International standards protecting medical relief workers, Israeli authorities have detained without charge several high-profile Americans, sometimes in conditions of solitary confinement, for no reason other than their relief work and peaceful activism on behalf of besieged Palestinians.

In a packed press conference today at the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, American Jewish activist Mr. Adam Shapiro, who made international headlines when his peace group in the West Bank spent several days in Yassir Arafat's compound, detailed human rights abuses he personally witnessed in the Jenin refugee camp. Shapiro also told the story of his fiance, Ms. Huwaida Arraf, and a British activist, who are currently detained by the Israeli authorities outside Tel Aviv with no charges against them.

According to Shapiro, when Ms. Arraf asked the Israeli authorities why several international citizens were being detained and dropped off in the middle of the night without identification or cellular phones (these were confiscated by the Israelis) on the outskirts of Jerusalem, she was met with a "hard slap". Shapiro, whose wedding was scheduled for later this month, has found the American consulate and embassy in Israel to be "slow to respond and not sufficiently following up on these cases."

Executive Director of MPAC, Mr. Salam Al-Marayati then detailed the breaking story of highly respected American Muslim activist Dr. Riad Abdelkarim of Orange County, CA, and Ms. Dallel Mohammed of Richardson, TX. Dr. Abdelkarim and Ms. Mohammed were detained this weekend at Ben Gurion Airport and have now been transferred to a prison on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Dr. Abdelkarim was detained as he was returning to the United States after witnessing the devastation caused by Israeli forces in the Jenin refugee camp, details of which he reported extensively on the internet.

According to a statement from Dr. Abdelkarim's family, "Riad has been denied access to an attorney, and he has not been allowed to contact his family. At this time, our family is shaken and frightened by this incident. Riad's four children are traumatized and are asking for their father. Again, we demand Riad's immediate release and request that U.S. government officials take steps to protect Riad as an American citizen who was born and bred in Santa Monica and the South Bay area."

Americans must rise and demand that our government protect our citizens against Israel's illegal detentions, not only of Palestinians they imprison in a system of apartheid, but now against American citizens whose relief work on behalf of Palestinian orphans is not to their liking. Our government, particularly in the halls of Congress, must stop its shameful
displays of blind support for any and all of Israel's excesses, including the assault and detention of innocent Americans. Enough is enough. Call the above governmental representatives now and urge them to demand the immediate release of these Americans and all Americans unlawfully detained by the State of Israel.

Call to Action

ACTION: Call and write Undersecretary of State William Burns, Congressman Christopher Cox, and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and urge that they put pressure on Israel to release innocent Americans from Israeli prisons
and detention facilities.

As members of Congress who represent Dr. Riad Abdelkarim and Ms. Dallel Mohamed, Representatives Cox and Johnson can and should weigh in to ensure that their constituents are not being abused by a foreign government. Please call their offices and urge them to do so.

Undersecretary of State William Burns

Phone: (202) 647-5150
E-mail: [email protected]
2201 C St. NW Rm 6242
Washington, DC 20520

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) (Dallel Mohamed's

Washington office:
Phone: (202) 225-8885
Fax: (202) 226-1477
E-mail: [email protected]
1511 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4330

Texas Office:
Phone: (214) 922-8885
Fax: (214) 922-7028
2501 Cedar Springs Rd., # 550
Dallas, TX 75201

Congressman Christopher Cox (R-CA) (Riad Abdelkarim's

Washington Office:
Phone: (202) 225-5611
Fax: (202) 225-9177
E-mail: [email protected]
2402 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0547

Main District Office:
Phone: (949) 756-2244
Fax: (949) 251-9309
One Newport Place, # 420
Newport Beach, CA 92660


President George Bush
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 456-1414
Fax: (202) 456-2461
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Colin Powell, Secretary of State
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 647-4000
Fax: (202) 261-8577
2201 C St NW
Washington, DC 20520

  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Jenin, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Occupation, Palestine
Views: 2135

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Older Comments:
It is time now for Muslim leadership to proceed action by delegation to the president if not to secretary of state, for foreign affairs to persue action to achieve the goal for release and penalise Israel if ther action is illegal.

It is also neede that full enquiry is made in killing the 21 year old sister by Israeli army.

Mere phone calls will not do much although it is also essential.

Israel must not get away with detaining american citizens just because it does not want them to tell the truth about the israeli atrocities that israel has commited in the occupied territories.
the us government must protect its citizens and israel must not get away with this kind of action.

I wonder how they would act if these detainees were Christians. The US government goes to great lengths to protect even criminals who are caught overseas, as long as they are Christian US citizens. This time when innocent americans are involved, they are simply ignored because they are Muslims. Why does that not surprise me. Talk about double standards! What a bunch of hypocrytes.