Ahmed Elgattari passionately expressed his opposition to the silence of the U.S. government.
â€œWhy is everyone so scared of Israel? Stop the killing in Gaza. Stop the massacre of innocent human beings,â€ he said
HAMAS, an acronym of Harakat- al-MuqÄwamat al-IslÄmiyyah, meaning â€œIslamic Resistance Movement,â€ is a Palestinian Sunni paramilitary organization and political party which holds a majority of seats in the elected legislative council of the Palestinian National Authority.
In his weekly radio address, Bush labeled HAMAS as a terrorist group determined to destroy Israel, claiming HAMAS was responsible for the latest violence and rejecting any unilateral ceasefire.
â€œI urge all parties to pressure HAMAS to turn away from terror and to support legitimate Palestinian leaders working for peace,â€ Bush concluded.
Clashes between Palestinians and Jews have been well documented for decades. After a two-year battle for control of territory that was occupied by the Arabs, from 1947 to 1949, it was the United Nationsâ€™ recommendation to divide the area known as Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state that turned hostilities into real warfare. When the war ended, Israel was sanctioned a larger part of the country. The war also gave Egypt control of the Gaza Strip
For the last six decades Palestinians and Jews have continued their fighting. Israel has been heavily financed by the United States and some European nations.
Israel has now carried out more than 700 strikes on Gaza since launching the offensive a week ago, AFP news agency said. The U.N. said it believed 25 percent of more than 400 Palestinians killed by Israeli action so far were civilians.
Farida Dhannan, an American Muslim who resides in Upper Marlboro, Md., said the world allows Israel to do whatever it wants.
â€œHow is it that no one can control five million people in Israel from destroying a nation of people?â€ she questioned. â€œObama says there can only be one president at a time, however, he has spoken out on many other issues. Doesnâ€™t the killing of innocent people matter?â€
Michael Reitz of the American Palestine Public Affairs Forum said it was crucial to address the incoming administration beforehand so that they were clear that changes needed to be swift and decisive.
â€œThe past eight years weâ€™ve watched the Bush administration support Israel [and] strategically execute a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Our message to the incoming administration is that so far the appointments made by Obama suggest no change in policies of support for Israel. There must be an effective pro-Palestine lobby to keep Israelâ€™s policies from running unopposed,â€ Reitz said.
Protesters insist that Israelâ€™s attacks are a form of â€œcollective punishment,â€ with all civilians open targets.
â€œWe are here to protest the slaughter of occupied people,â€ said Mahdi bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society. â€œFor 18 months, the people of Gaza have been living under medieval conditions. The Israelis have stopped food, medical supplies, clean water. If Obama truly wants change, this is a good place to start.â€