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Islamic leaders in Maryland urge Biden to end military funding for Israel after airstrike in Rafah kills dozens

CAIR calls on Biden administration to end funding for Israeli military forces after airstrike in Raf
CAIR calls on Biden administration to end funding for Israeli military forces after airstrike in Raf 02:27

BALTIMORE -- An airstrike that killed dozens in Rafah over the weekend prompted a global outcry, including from the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Maryland. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there had been a "tragic mistake" and that Israel was investigating, but CAIR wants the Biden administration to take action. In a CNN interview, President Biden said he would halt some shipments of American weapons to Israel if Netanyahu ordered a major invasion of Rafah.

National Muslim leaders responded to the airstrike Monday at a press conference in Baltimore. CAIR's national deputy director, Edward Ahmed Mitchell, said time and time again, the red line is crossed.

"We saw charred bodies being dragged out of fire," he said at a press conference Monday in Baltimore. "We saw a black landscape lit up in flames. This is the horror wrought by the Israeli government with American taxpayer dollars. President Biden said that if Netanyahu crossed a redline by going into Rafah he would stop funding these atrocities."

The President of the Islamic Circle of North America Dr. Mohsin Ansari said they are also asking for a ceasefire and aid for Gaza.

"The aid and support to Gaza, Rafah, and all Palestinian territories should be started with immediate and completeness so that those who are starving, those who are injured can get the support," Ansari said.

APTOPIX Israel Palestinians
Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike where displaced people were staying in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 27, 2024. Jehad Alshrafi / AP

Eyewitnesses told CBS News' team in Gaza that eight airstrikes hit tents in western Rafahthough the reports could not be independently confirmed. The eyewitnesses said the casualties, which included civilians, were rushed to Emirati Hospital. The tents were part of a camp about 200 meters (about 650 feet) away from the largest United Nations warehouse in the Gaza Strip. 

The strike comes two days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to end its military offensive in Rafah. Several humanitarian organizations have called on the UN Security Council to enforce the court's orders.

WJZ reached out to the Baltimore Jewish Council in response to this weekend's attack in Rafah.

Howard Libit, the council's president, said his leadership board has not yet had a chance to discuss the matter because of the Memorial Day holiday.

Now, Spain, Ireland and Norway will officially recognize a Palestinian state, aiming to accelerate efforts to secure a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

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