Breaking: ADC, ACRL File Lawsuit, Demand Safe Evacuation of US Citizens from Gaza

Detroit, MI | | October 13, 2023 – As the crisis in Gaza worsens the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) along with the Arab American Civil Rights League (ACRL) have filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan over the handling of the evacuation of US Citizens from the Gaza Strip. In addition to ADC, the plaintiffs include the family of Palestinian Americans currently stuck in Gaza. The lawsuit is filed against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense.

The State Department has a duty to ensure that the U.S. Citizens are protected abroad.  Credible reports have shown that the State Department has thus far not engaged in evacuation efforts to safely evacuate US citizens that are currently in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The situation within Gaza continues to deteriorate, with Israeli bombs leveling city blocks and destroying both escape routes and those attempting to use them. Palestinians in Gaza, among whom are American citizens, have had their water, electricity, and internet access cut. Despite this, the State Department has clearly indicated that they have no plans to ensure the safety of American citizens.

In the lawsuit, ADC and ACRL accuse the US Government of unconstitutionally discriminating against Palestinian Americans by not securing their safety and well-being. The inaction of the State Department is especially problematic when juxtaposed with its chartering of flights to assist Israeli Americans escape. Palestinian American lives are in grave danger from ongoing military action and violence in which they are non-combatants, and the Government has an obligation to protect its citizens.

ADC National Executive Director Abed Ayoub said, “The situation in Gaza presents a stark and disturbing reality where Palestinian Americans are among the victims of Israel’s indiscriminate bombing campaign. Our lawsuit underscores a grave concern: the deeply troubling inaction of the US Government in ensuring the safety and well-being of its own citizens. We believe that every American deserves the unequivocal support and protection of their government when faced with life-threatening circumstances.”

The Alarayshi Family said, “They just hit the house next to us. We are scared. We can’t go to the bathroom; we can’t go anywhere. We don’t have electricity, we’re without water, there’s nothing. I think we are going to die before we leave,”

Nabih Ayad, Founder of the ACRL said, “Protecting the lives of our fellow Americans is our most urgent priority in this crisis. Our dedication to their safety is a testament to our shared humanity, and it transcends any political divisions. We call on our community and the nation to join us in unity, for together, we can ensure the safe return of our citizens.”

In a statement made earlier, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) said, “Many families in the U.S. seeking help to get their loved ones out of Gaza feel that Secretary Blinken is not making their safety a priority. The Biden Administration is failing in its duty to protect all civilian and American lives in Gaza. I cannot believe I have to beg our country to value every human life, no matter their faith or ethnicity. We cannot lose sight of the humanity in each other.”

Today, as we stand united in addressing this critical issue, we call upon every member of our community and every concerned citizen across the nation to join us in solidarity. If you have loved ones stuck in Gaza or if you know of others who do, we urge you to reach out to call the urgent hotline at 888-806-3822 or contact ACRL or ADC.

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