Michigan Muslim Leaders Seek Public Help for Gaza

Fifteen Michigan Islamic leaders are urging Americans to contact lawmakers, donate to relief agencies and pray in an effort to end fighting and suffering in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

A rocket fired by Palestinian militants at southern Israel leaves a thin trail of white smoke, as smoke caused by explosions from Israeli forces' operations rises from buildings on the outskirts of Gaza City, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009. Israeli forces edged closer to Gaza's major population centers on Tuesday and attacked new targets, including a U.N. school, taking more civilian lives after ignoring mounting international calls for an immediate cease-fire. A Palestinian rocket attack wounded an Israeli infant. (AP Photos/Hatem Moussa)

DETROIT (AP) - Fifteen Michigan Islamic leaders are urging Americans to contact lawmakers, donate to relief agencies and pray in an effort to end fighting and suffering in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan wants the Bush
administration to push for a cease-fire between Israel and Gaza's
Hamas rulers.

The Muslim leaders read their appeal Monday at a Detroit-area mosque.

Robert Cohen, who heads the Jewish Community Relations Council
of Metropolitan Detroit, said Israel tries to minimize casualties, but that's difficult "when Hamas operates behind Palestinian civilians."

In Washington, the State Department said the U.S. is pressing for a cease-fire that would include a halt to rocket attacks by Hamas. President George W. Bush emphasized "Israel's desire to protect itself."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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