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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Israel Law Center’

Shurat HaDin to Bring Hamas to Hague for War Crimes Against its Own People

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

An Israeli civil rights group, Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, has filed a complaint in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague against Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal over the July-August murders of 38 Gazan civilians.

The motion by the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center to bring Mashaal to the ICC was made possible by the fact that he is a citizen of Jordan, one of the ICC member states, and represents the first time that a Palestinian terrorist would be brought to the court on the basis of his Jordanian citizenship.

The complaint alleges that Hamas executed 20 Gazan civilians on July 28 for engaging in anti-Hamas protests, and publicly executed at least 18 civilians on August 22 for “collaboration” with Israel. The complaint further states that Mashaal “had knowledge of the executions, oversees Hamas’s governance of Gaza, and actively encourages and supports the executions.”

As a Jordanian citizen, the Hamas leader is subject to prosecution by the ICC because court is “empowered to exercise its jurisdiction over all acts committed by the citizen of a member, wherever those acts are committed,” explained attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the chairperson of Shurat Hadin.

In video footage broadcast around the world, Hamas spokesmen testified to the killings of at least 38 civilians in Gaza since the outbreak of this summer’s war with Israel. One of the videos shows Hamas executioners publicly announcing the verdict against some of the condemned civilians, who appear kneeling with cloth bags over their heads in a Gaza mosque. The executions brought widespread condemnation of Hamas from a number of human rights groups.

The Israeli legal group filed the complaint partly as a response to statements made last week by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who said that the court has not “avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza due to political pressure” and has only failed to do so due to a lack of jurisdiction. According to ICC protocols, either the claimant or defendant in a case must belong to an ICC member state, a status that neither Israel nor Gaza holds. By trying Mashaal as a Jordanian, the Israeli group hopes to force the court to convene on the case, as Bensouda indicated it would be willing to do.

Darshan-Leitner told Tazpit News Agency that if the case against Mashaal succeeds in going to court, the results would be significant for Israel. The Hamas leader would be arrested and put on trial, and as the attorney pointed out, “the punishment for war crimes is imprisonment for life. It’s a life sentence without parole.” She also noted that a successful trial would undermine the legitimacy of Hamas, who would be “recognized as committing war crimes against its own people.”

Asked about the prospects of the case going to trial, Darshan-Leitner said that she intends to “put public pressure on the court to deal with this issue.” She noted that the court has an incentive to take the case in order to avoid appearing hypocritical, since the chief ICC prosecutor herself wrote that the court is willing to deal with allegations against Hamas.

“Quite frankly,” she said, “I don’t see a way out for the court from dealing with this case. For the first time they have the jurisdiction to deal with Hamas war crimes in Gaza.”

Court Orders Livni to Respond to Lawsuit of PA Terror Victims

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Israel’s Supreme Court has given Justice Minister Tzipi Livni one week to respond to a lawsuit by an Israeli NGO representing victims of Palestinian terror victims in a case against the Bank of China.

On Tuesday, the court put its time mandate on Livni hours after the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center filed a suit requesting information issued by the New York District Court under the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters.

In November, the Israeli government filed a petition with the U.S. federal court seeking to block the testimony of former Israeli intelligence official Uzi Shaya, saying he would divulge state secrets.

Shaya, according to reports, in 2005 alerted Chinese security officials to suspicious transactions, including transfers of money to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Some 22 families of victims of Palestinian suicide bombers who brought the suit accuse the Bank of China of funding terrorist organizations through U.S. accounts. They are seeking millions of dollars in damages; a guilty verdict under anti-terrorism laws also could affect the bank’s ability to continue conducting business in the United States.

The families, through Shurat HaDin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, requested specific documents from the justice minister last June as well as the testimony of Shaya. No response or documents have been forthcoming, according to Shurat HaDin

“We have filed this suit today as we believe Minister Livni is culpable not only of failing in her duties under the Hague Convention, but of failing the Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism in their quest for justice,” Darshan-Leitner said in a statement Tuesday.

A similar case against the bank was brought by the family of American student Daniel Wultz, who was killed in a 2006 terror attack in Tel Aviv.

Iran Owes Terror Victims Billions of Dollars, Says Activist Lawyer

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

An Israeli lawyer who has won billions of dollars for relatives of terror victims has asked Obama administration officials why they are discussing letting Iran off the hook on sanctions while it owes American relatives colossal sums of money.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who heads the Israel Law Center, has won billions of dollars for relatives of terror victims in lawsuits against the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organization as well as banks and other agencies that aid terrorists or act as a pipeline for funds for them.

She wrote Under Secretary Wendy Sherman last month, “Iran must not be allowed under any circumstances to avoid making payment of reparations and due compensations to the families of those whose lives they have destroyed through terrorism…and through the terror organizations it supports: Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.”

In a blog posted this past week on The Hill website based in Washington, Darshan-Leitner noted that Sherman did not respond, and she added, “As a result of lawsuits taken by American victims of terror in U.S. courts, the Iranian regime currently owes billions of dollars from decades of terrorist activity resulting in dozens of victims and severed families. This debt has yet to be recognized or paid by the Iranian government with no sign of an intention to do so.”

She called on Congress to ensure that the U.S. government is working to keep the interests of the terror victims’ families on the table.

Darshan-Leitner pointed out that when George W. Bush was President, he conditioned repealing of any sanctions against Libya on payment of reparations to the victims of Libyan terror. “This move resulted in the payment of $1.5 billion dollars to the victims’ families,” she wrote.

On the other hand, Bush also removed North Korea from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism in 2008, without compensation being paid to American families, she added.

“We fear this lack of response not only portends a potential Iranian exemption from paying reparations and giving due compensation to families affected by terror in return for normalization of relations, but that it also signals a softening of Sherman’s position on the proliferation of terrorist activity and most significantly, creates difficult implications for the United States’ reputation as a pillar of justice in the war on terror,” according to Darshan-Leitner.

Her blog continued, “As lawyers for American, Canadian and Israeli victims of Iranian terror, we call on Congress to take action and place a check on Under Secretary Sherman in this current round of negotiations… We call on all members of Congress to ensure that victims of terror are not forgotten and to help make the Iranian regime provide the proper reparations and due compensation for the innocent lives taken at the hands of terrorist activities and not to gain a free pass in the name of diplomatic maneuverings.”

Legal Activist Calls for Prosecuting France 2 for Al-Dura Hoax

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Israel should file criminal charges against France 2 following a government report Sunday that the television channel broadcast a film in 200 that falsely portrayed the alleged killing of 12-year-old Mohammed Al-Dura by Israeli soldiers.

Charles Enderlin was bureau chief of France 2 when the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, broke out. He “should never be allowed to practice journalism in Israel again,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center.

“In 2007 we argued at the High Court in Jerusalem that France 2′s credentials be canceled, but the press office cited they had a lack of authority to do so,” she added. “Now that the government has determined we were right, it’s time France 2′s bureau chief be prosecuted. Enderlin’s report became a symbol of the second Intifada and a modern-day blood libel directly resulting in hundreds of Jewish and Arab deaths, only for the purpose of raising France 2′s ratings.

“The French network ignited a still-burning torch of hatred against Israel, with images of al-Dura still being presented in anti-Israel protests in Iran, the Arab world and in Western Europe. Those who are responsible must bear the consequences of their actions in order to avoid the repetition of incidents like this and, moreover, to stop this blood libel once and for all.”

State Dept. Fights Suit by Americans Claiming US Funds PA Terror

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The U.S. State Dept. has filed a motion to dismiss the claims of a group of Americans who allege American aid money to the Palestinian Authority funds terrorism.

The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act requires the State Department to certify that none of the money is used for terror.

“It is estimated that since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the State Department, via USAID, has given over $4 billion to Palestinians, according to the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin). The sum includes U.S. funding to UNRWA, the United Nations body that operates in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The lawsuit, filed by 24 Americans living in Israel last November in the U.S. District Court for Washington, contends that the State Department has ignored Congressional safeguards and transparency requirements which govern financial assistance to the PA.

The Jewish Press and other media have frequently reported that the Palestinian Authority pays fat salaries to its suicide bomb masterminds serving time in Israeli jails, spends money to build monuments to glorify suicide bombers and funds its media to disseminate incitement to terror against Jews. Millions of dollars also are transferred to Hamas, which the State Dept. itself classifies as an illegal terrorist organization.

The attorneys for the U.S. government, who have asked the court not to allow the case to continue, claim that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring this civil action and that the case raises “political questions.”

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs and director of the Israel Law Center explained in a statement Tuesday that the issue is the lack of transparency on the part the officials at Foggy Bottom in Washington.

“Rather than defend the government’s foreign aid policy on its merits and provide proof that it truly knows where taxpayer money to the PA is going, the government’s lawyers are trying to dismiss the lawsuit on legal technicalities,” she said. ”They are saying that it is pure speculation that Americans can be injured by terrorism in Israel and that the issue of funding is a foreign policy power reserved to the U.S. President and cannot be reviewed by the courts.”

Darshan-Leitner added emphasized that the lawsuit does not challenge the Executive Branch’s right to conduct foreign policy but simply want transparency.

“U.S. funds are being utilized by the Palestinians for terrorism which threatens Americans, and the plaintiffs will be responding to this motion and asking that the case be allowed to go forward,” Darshan-Leitner stressed.

The Department of Justice has declined to comment on the case when asked to do buy the Washington Free Beacon.

How Does EU Avoid Defining Hizbullah as Terrorist Organization?

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

President Shimon Peres  and the Israeli lawfare group Shurat HaDin have launched two separate but simultaneous campaigns to pressure the European Union to agree Hizbullah equals terror.

President Peres is to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week and will urge it to place the Iranian-backed Hizbullah Shi’ite Muslim group on the list of terror organizations, as the United States has done.

A major obstacle to the classification is the failure of all 27 EU countries to agree.

“The President will tell the EU leaders that every country needs to treat Hezbollah as a terror organization,” a spokesperson to the President told the European Jewish Press (EJP).

“The President’s EU meetings “will take place in the context of the inquiry into the terror attack in Bulgaria which found that Hizbullah was responsible for the bombing and the subsequent discussions within Europe on the consequences.”

His speech to the European Parliament will be the first by an Israeli leader in the legislature’s current format, which includes 754 members from the 27 EU member states.

Shurat HaDin, known in English as the Israel Law Center, is headed by attorney Nitsana Darshn-Leitner. She has staged a quiet revolution in fighting terrorism by winning lawsuits against Hamas and the Palestinian Authority as well as banks that handle money of terrorist groups. Shurat HaDin has won  judgments running into the billions.

It also was instrumental in convincing companies they could be subject to criminal charges if they did not stop equipping Iranian oil tankers and terrorists’ Gaza-bound ships with communications equipment.

Darshn-Leitner now has written to the un to demand that it designate Hizbullah as a terrorist organization.

“In our letter to the EU officials, we accused the EU of cowardice and hiding its head in the sand in the face of overwhelming proof of the Islamic extremist groups’ long term involvement in global terrorism,” she said.

“We accused the EU of ignoring Hizbullah’s assassination of Lebanese President Rafiq Hariri, for which several of its officials were indicted by The Hague, and Hizbullah’s on-going role in perpetrating crimes against humanity in the Syrian civil war.”

Despite pressure from the United States and Israel, the EU has claimed that it will not outlaw the group until there is “tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terrorism,” she said.

Shurat HaDin this week issued a partial list of dozens of attacks that have killed more than 400 people, not including targeted civilians in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Bulgaria recently announced that Hizbullah was behind the July 2012 terrorist attack that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver.

Following is the partial list that is more than enough of the  “tangible evidence” the EU is looking for.

-  The 1982 and 1983 suicide bombings against the IDF headquarters building in Tyre, Lebanon, which killed 103 Israelis and 46–59 Lebanese, wounding 95 people.

-   The April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing Lebanon, that killed 241 US marines, 58 French paratroopers and 6 civilians at the US and French barracks in Beirut.

-   The Hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in 1985.

-   The kidnapping and murder of numerous individuals during the Lebanon Hostage Crisis from 1982 to 1992, including the kidnapping and torture-murder of CIA Beirut station Chief William Buckley.

-   The 1992 Israeli Embassy bombing in Buenos Aires, killing 29, in Argentina.

-   The 1994 AMIA bombing of a Jewish cultural centre, killing 85, in Argentina.

-   The 1996 KhobarTowers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 20.

-   The 2000 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldiers Adi Avitan, Benyamin Avraham, and Omar Sawaidwere.

-   In 2002, Singapore accused Hezbollah of recruiting Singaporeans in a failed 1990s plot to attack US and Israeli ships in the Singapore Straits.

-   The 2006 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, which precipitated the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War.

-   Intentionally targeting Israeli civilians and cities with rocket fire during the Second Lebanon War.

-   The January 15, 2008 bombing of a U.S. Embassy vehicle in Beirut.

-   In 2009, a Hezbollah plot in Egypt was uncovered, where Egyptian authorities arrested 49 men for planning attacks against Israeli and Egyptian targets in the Sinai Peninsula.

-   A failed 2011 bombing in Istanbul targeting the Israeli consul, which left eight dead.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/how-does-eu-avoid-defining-hizbullah-as-terrorist-organization/2013/03/05/

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