Posted on June 28, 2006 in Press Releases

Zogby: American Taxpayers to Shoulder Cost of Destruction

WASHINGTON  The Arab American Institute (AAI) today condemned Israel’s ongoing offensive in the Gaza Strip, which already has destroyed a power station and three bridges and resulted in the loss of water and electricity to 1.3 million impoverished Palestinians.

AAI President James Zogby called on the Bush Administration to demand that Israel halt the systematic destruction of Palestinian infrastructure and allow diplomacy to resolve the issue of the captured Israeli soldier.

“Will Israel never learn? The use of disproportionate power in acts of collective punishment that display callous disregard for the suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocents will never create peace,” Zogby said. “While the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier remains of deep concern, instead of allowing for Arab interlocutors and the Palestinian presidency to bring about a resolution of this situation, Israel’s strike on Gaza’s infrastructure has only played into the hands of the extremist group that sought such a response in the first place.”

AAI is especially outraged at Israel’s destruction of the power station, which was built with American partners and is currently underwritten by U.S. guarantees through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an independent agency in the Executive Branch. Along with the systematic shutoff of water, the Israeli offensive will only exacerbate the deepening Palestinian humanitarian crisis resulting from the economic blockade of the Gaza Strip that already has caused enormous suffering.

“The U.S. cannot stand by while Israel uses U.S. weapons to wreak havoc in Gaza,” Zogby said. “Israel’s assault is in violation of international and U.S. law, and it should be noted, may cost U.S. taxpayers up to $40 million since the power plant was funded in part with OPIC guarantees. U.S. timidity or acquiescence only puts us at greater risk in a region already roiled by our behavior in Iraq and by our history of neglect for Palestinian rights.

View the destruction to a Gaza Bridge Damaged by Israeli Airforce

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by Susan Jones,, June 29, 2006


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