A group of Palestinians affected by Israel’s activities have filed a $34.5 billion lawsuit against US and Israeli entities supporting West Bank settlements. The lawsuit was filed in the Federal District Court of Columbia in the United States.
Ayman Nejm, media spokesman for Martin McMahon and Associates, the law firm that filed the law suit, told Safa news agency on Monday that the case is the first of its kind where Palestinian and Palestinian-American plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit against wealthy US citizens and tax-exempt entities that have provided massive financial assistance to settlements across the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
According to the statement, the lawsuit has been filed against construction companies, security firms, real estate agencies and private banks involved in supporting the growth of Israeli settlements.
The case will also include Palestinians subjected to Israeli attacks which resulted in the loss of life, property and agricultural land in Palestinian Authority controlled areas.
File photo of illegal Israeli settlements
The statement said the plaintiffs include Susan Abulhawa, a prominent Palestinian writer, and activist Bassim Tamimi who has been incarcerated and tortured numerous times for staging peaceful weekly protests.
The statement read:
“Plaintiff Doaa Abu-Amar lost fourteen family members when the Israeli army bombed a day-care centre they had taken shelter in during the 2009 Gaza invasion. Plaintiff Ahmed al-Zeer is permanently disabled today because he was severely beaten by settlers who attacked him on his own property outside the settlement of Ofra.”
“Many of the plaintiffs have had loved ones murdered, children assaulted and murdered on their way home from school, businesses destroyed, land stolen, water wells and livestock poisoned, olive groves destroyed and suffered various physical injuries, including the loss of eyesight, legs amputated and various permanent physical injuries.”
The defendants include prominent pro-settlement billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson, Irving Moskowitz, and John Hagee, and American tax-exempt entities like Christian Friends of Israeli Communities and Friends of the Israeli Army.
“The defendants have committed war crimes because they have collaborated with violent settlers, G4S personnel, and Israeli soldiers in maiming and murdering thousands of Palestinian civilians, hoping such activity would hasten their departure from the OPT. The defendants have also committed money laundering because they purposely sent funds overseas to promote criminal activities like ethnic cleansing, arms trafficking, and wholesale violence”
The U.S. corporations named in the suit, along with Israeli banks Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim, international construction companies Africa Israel Investments, Veolia, and Volvo, and the British security protection services firm G4S, have all engaged in war crimes and money laundering.