Americans in Israel sue United States for funding Palestinian terrorism
RE: State Department, White House ignored transparency requirements in delivering Palestinian aid, allowing money to flow Hamas and other terror groups, plaintiffs claim
A group of 24 Americans living in Israel, some of them victims of terror, on Tuesday filed a civil action lawsuit against the United States government over what they claim is its funding of Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The plaintiffs were being represented by the Tel Aviv-based Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, a legal advocacy group that combats terror organizations.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Washington, DC, contends that the State Department and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ignored Congressional safeguards and transparency requirements attached to US aid to the Palestinian Authority, thus allowing for the funneling of funds to Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Palestine Liberation Front. It also accuses the White House of not complying with the regulations and reporting obligations governing presidential waivers which facilitate emergency funding to the Palestinians.
‘I just want justice,’ said Stuart Hersh, one of the plaintiffs, an elderly Jerusalem resident and victim of a terror attack on Ben Yehuda Street in the same city in 1997, which caused him brain damage and left him partially disabled. ‘I am against the American government indirectly financing Hamas — the very people who try to kill me,’ Hersh said by telephone, adding that he differentiates between ‘humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people and supporting political agendas.’
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the Tel Aviv-based director of Shurat HaDin, told The Times of Israel that the State Department and USAID were particularly ‘lax’ in requiring the Palestinians to ‘utilize bank accounts and other transfer methods that ensure transparency.’ US funds have been flowing to the terror groups as a result of this noncompliance, Darshan-Leitner added.
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