Hillary Clinton sued by Americans over funding of Palestinian terror groups
Federal suit alleges that the US State Dept violated the Anti-Terrorism Act,
and abandoned Congressional safeguards, transparency and reporting
Tel Aviv, Nov. 27, 2012: A group of 24 Americans living in Israel, including
victims of terrorism, filed a lawsuit today against the US government over
its funding of Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank and Gaza.
The civil action, filed in the district court of Washington DC, alleges that
the US Department of State, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
has ignored congressional safeguards and transparency requirements attached
to US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). In addition, the plaintiffs
claim that the White House has not been complying with the regulations and
reporting obligations governing presidential waivers which facilitate
emergency funding to the Palestinians. As a result of this non-compliance,
US funds have been flowing to terror groups like Hamas, the Palestinian
Liberation Organization (PLO), the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestine Liberation Front.
According to the lawsuit, Americans living in proximity to these Palestinian
terror groups are in the class of individuals that Congress sought to
protect through the safeguards and regulations that the White House, State
Department and USAID are disregarding.
The suit asks the federal court to review the conduct of the State
Department and the safeguards on funds being distributed by USAID in its
programs to the PA and to the United Nations Refugee Worker's Administration
(UNRWA) and seeks to suspend future American aid to the PA and UNRWA until
all the Congressionally legislated regulations and reporting requirements
are fully complied with.
To view the lawsuit: http://tinyurl.com/chd5oac
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Norman Steiner of New York and
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel Aviv.
Darshan-Leitner, the director of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, stressed
that "once handed over, US funding of the PA and UNRWA is difficult to trace
and the State Department has been lax in requiring the Palestinians to
utilize bank accounts and other transfer methods that ensure transparency."
The founder of the Israeli counter-terror group added that "elements of the
US Government, particularly the State Department and USAID, are breaking the
law and must cease all funding of the PA immediately. US aid to the
Palestinians is killing innocent people.”
Steiner added: "The American people are opposed to terror and do not want to
fund it via their taxes. The ongoing non-compliance of the White House and
State Department with Congressionally mandated protections cannot be allowed
The United States Department of State, under the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism
Act, is prohibited from providing “material support” to proscribed terrorist
groups. It is estimated that since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993,
the United States State Department, via USAID has given over $4 billion to
Palestinians, with portions of that funding illegally landing in the hands
of terrorists. During the last four fiscal years, average aid has been
roughly $600 million per year. Additionally, the United States gives
approximately $200 million to the United Nations body UNRWA, each year, and
during the fiscal years 2008 and 2009, UNRWA gave roughly $500 million of
their funding to recipients in the West Bank and Gaza.
Under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the State Department is required to certify
that the Palestinian government is committed to a peace co-existence with
Israel before distributing funds, and ensure that no part of funding is used
for Palestinian terrorism. The plaintiffs allege that these crucial
safeguards, transparency obligations and reporting requirements are being
Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center is an Israeli based civil rights organization
and world leader in combating the terrorist organizations and the regimes
that support them through lawsuits litigated in courtrooms around the world.
Shurat HaDin seeks to bankrupt the terror groups and grind their criminal
activities to a halt – one lawsuit at a time. Established in 2003 and based
in Tel-Aviv, Shurat HaDin works together with western intelligence agencies
and volunteer lawyers around the world to file legal actions on behalf of
victims of terror. It is a fully independent non-profit organization,
unaffiliated with any political party or governmental body. Shurat HaDin has
succeeded in winning more than $1 billion in judgments, freezing more than
$600 million in terrorist assets and in collecting $120 million in actual
payments to the victims and their families.
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