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Palestinian-American lawyer sues Kerry and Hagel over military aid to Israel

August 7, 2014 at 11:26 am

A Palestinian-born US attorney has filed a lawsuit against US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel for providing Israel with weapons used in the assault on Gaza.

In the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Akram Abusharar demanded the US stop supplying Israel with military aid and that Israeli military officials be declared persona no grata in the US.

According to OC Weekly, Abusharar filed the lawsuit at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, and claims his family’s home in Gaza had been bombed during Israel’s current assault, which it has called “Operation Protective Edge”, using US supplied weapons.

“[The] plaintiff and his family have suffered at the hands of the Israeli army over the years. His brother was killed when he was 16 in 1988 by the Israeli army. His family of over 30 people was nearly killed in the explosion this past week. His father passed away as a result of the siege in Gaza because he could not obtain the proper medical treatment in April 2014,” the complaint said.

Abusharar believes Kerry and Hagel violated a number of laws, including the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, banning assistance to countries that “engage” in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognised human rights.

In his lawsuit Abusharar wrote: “It is clear from the constant attacks from Israel to the Gaza Strip, killing thousands of civilians, including women and young children are violations of human rights.

“The Human Rights Report released by the defendant Department of State specifically details the human rights violations committed by Israel against the Palestinian civilians. Yet, the defendants continue to provide military aid to Israel in direct violation of the Leahy Law. There is no reason that Israel should be targeting family homes. These actions constitute human rights violations, which mean that the defendants should cease all assistance”

Court officials in Orange County sent a 60-day summons requesting that Kerry and Hagel reply to the complaint. A trial date has not yet been decided, but the case has been assigned to US District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford.