ACTION ALERT: Families Are Dying in Gaza: SF Bay Area Man Loses 30 Members of Family in Missile Strike
July 24, 2014
KGO-TV & A Just Foreign Policy & Abir Elzowidi / Oasis of Peace
An Israeli missile strike destroyed an entire building in Gaza, killing three generations of one family -- the Jamahs. A relative who lives in the Bay Area spoke to ABC7 News about the pain and sadness he was going through learning of the deaths of 30 loved ones -- including three pregnant women and children ranging in age from six month to 14 years. Another US resident has started a petition after learning of the deaths of five family members, including three small children.
South Bay Man Finds 30 Family Members Die from Gaza Fighting
SAN JOSE, Calif. (July 22, 2014) -- There have been 29 Israelis and 630 Palestinians killed in the past 15 days. With no ceasefire in place, sadly, those numbers are expected to go up. A South Bay man is in mourning after one of those air strikes killed 30 members of his family. It is the largest number of people killed in a single family since the fighting started.
A missile strike destroyed an entire building, filled with just one family -- the Jamahs. Tuesday night, the one relative who lives in the Bay Area spoke to ABC7 News about the pain and sadness he was going through.
Palestinian-American Hani Jamah showed us photos of his relatives and said, "This is one of my cousins that passed away. He was killed five hours ago."
He is glued to social media sites and international news channels. It's where he gets his information about Gaza and Israel. It's also where he learned about Sunday's missile strike that killed 30 people in one building. Hani said, "I was like, 'Wow, that is sad. Let me see this poor family. Who are those people?' And I found out it's my family."
The Jamah family, which had three generations living under one four-story roof, was gone. The place where their home once stood now looks like a pile of rubble, leaving behind a long list of the dead. No one survived.
There were a number of children living at the home all ranging from 6 months old to 14. There were also at least three women that were pregnant.
Hani said, "I feel terrible when I see human beings die this way, but when I see my family members? That was extremely difficult for me." The last time the father of two was in Gaza was two years ago. Now, he wants to go back, but getting into the region is nearly impossible. The bombings are intensifying and so is the chaos.
In the Bay Area the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, is demanding an end to the violence, through a letter campaign. CAIR's executive director Zahra Billoo said they want Israel to be held "accountable for the civilian deaths that it is perpetuating through the use of US tax dollars." Thousands of letters will be delivered to the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, on Thursday.
'Five Members of My Family Were Killed'
A Just Foreign Policy
I wanted to make sure that you saw this powerful note from Abir Elzowidi calling for peace in Gaza and Israel that Just Foreign Policy sent out yesterday. In a little over twelve hours, we've had 43 people sign up to deliver Abir's petition to their local Congressional office on Thursday! Thanks for all you do.
-- Robert Naiman
/ A Just Foreign Policy.
My name is Abir Elzowidi. I work in Los Angeles for a small NGO called "Oasis of Peace" promoting peaceful co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians, Christians, Muslims and Jews.
A few days ago, five members of my family -- including two small children -- were killed in my village of Beit Hanoun in Gaza.
A few days before, several other family members were told to leave their homes and made to stand by and watch as members of the Israeli Defense Force bombed their homes. They are now homeless, including my 93-year-old grandmother. Now I am afraid for the safety of my mother, my sister, my brother and their children in Gaza City as they are bombing randomly all around them. They, like others in Gaza, have nowhere safe to go.
I am grieving but I need your support.
Together, we are not powerless. We can use our voices in this country to say enough is enough: stop the bombing, stop killing innocent children!
Thursday, July 24, will be a national day of action on Gaza. Here are two things you can do to help stop the violence:
Sign my petition calling on the Obama Administration and Congress to use all the tools at their disposal to end the violence and lift the blockade of Gaza.
Sign up to deliver petition signatures to your Representative or Senator’s local office. We’ll help you every step of the way. Just fill out our quick form to let us know you’re interested.
As of Monday, July 21, at least 550 Palestinians have been killed and 3,350 wounded since the new round of violence started two weeks ago in Gaza. Twenty-seven Israelis, including 25 soldiers and two civilians, have been killed.
The US, Israel and Egypt put together a ceasefire agreement last week, but what they proposed did not address a root cause of the violence: Israel’s seven year-old economic blockade of Gaza.
We need to stop the killing now, but we also need to prevent more killing in the future. Lifting the siege is the only way to stop the killing long-term -- and keep more people like me from losing family members in the future.
Please help me stop the killing in Gaza.
Sign the petition telling the Obama Administration and Congress to stop the violence and lift the blockade of Gaza.
Thanks for all you do to help end the violence,
Abir "Abby" Elzowidi
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.