updated 8/27/2010 4:53:24 AM ET 2010-08-27T08:53:24

BIRMINGHAM, Mich., Aug. 26, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Arab American Medical Association (NAAMA) condemns the May 31, 2010, Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla, which was bearing medicine and other aid material to the people of Gaza. The Israeli siege of Gaza, begun in November 2009, continues to cause immeasurable suffering to more than a million and a half people, making it extremely difficult for them to rebuild their lives after a devastating war, to have access to even basic health and other necessities, to seek specialized medical care abroad, and to pursue opportunities for education or work. The siege rendered the majority of the population poor, with many malnourished children and with a very high incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as documented in numerous reports by human rights organizations, international medical journals and the United Nations. Indeed, Amnesty International, in its January 2010 report "Suffocating: The Gaza Strip under Israeli Blockade," states "The blockade also often prevents people from receiving necessary, urgent medical care, and from pursuing their livelihoods."

NAAMA calls for an immediate lifting of the siege and calls on all people of conscience to work toward that end. As NAAMA members have watched and hoped for a solution, we have witnessed the continuing deterioration of the health and welfare of the Palestinian people.  Silence in the face of such a crime against humanity can only mean complicity and is inhumane and unacceptable.  NAAMA calls upon the president to take an active role in reversing the tragic and inexcusable living conditions of all Palestinians.

Established in 1975, NAAMA is a non-profit association of physicians and other healthcare professionals of Arab background who serve communities all over the United States.  In addition to its professional and educational mission, NAAMA carries out its humanitarian mission through the NAAMA Foundation and its liaison committees.  It has been impossible for the NAAMA Foundation to get volunteers, medical equipment and medicine to the people of Gaza due to the ongoing siege.

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