Lawsuit filed against Biden administration over Gaza stance

Palestinians living in the US and occupied Palestinian territories filed a lawsuit on November 13 against President Biden’s administration over their strong support for Israel and their refusal to stop the killings in Gaza, according to Qatar-funded news outlet Middle East Eye. 

A recent poll carried out in America by Ipsos Mori and Reuters concluded that 68% of respondents backed a ceasefire between Gaza and Israel. 

Biden has refused to back a cessation of hostilities claiming, like various Western politicians, that it would only be beneficial to Gaza-controlling Palestinian militants Hamas. 

Despite the bloodshed in the under-siege Palestinian territory, over 11,000 Gazans have been killed by Israeli forces, Washington remains Israel’s closest ally globally and it has previously been reported that they give the Middle Eastern country $3 billion a year in military aid. 

More specifically, the lawsuit was sent to the District Court for Northern California, being filed against the American President, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and was submitted by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), San Fransisco-based law firm Van Der Hout LLP as well as the Palestinian human rights organisations, Al-Haq and Defense for Children International. 

The lawsuit claims that Washington has been unwilling to stop the Gaza genocide and Israel’s war crimes more generally. 

The lawsuit read, “This unfolding genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza has so far been made possible because of the unconditional support given by … President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, constituting a breach of US responsibilities under customary international law, as codified in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,”. 

READ: Palestinian US Representative gagged by House

With regards to genocide, legal experts refer to the definition outlined in Article II of the UN Genocide Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  

Article II of the UN Genocide Convention notes, “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: 

(a) Killing members of the group; 

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; 

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; 

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; 

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” . 

The United Nations definition is recognised by 130 countries including the United States. 

Just over 250,000 Palestinians live in the US and in general, 2 million Arabs live in the country which accounts for 0.6% of the total population. 

Middle East Eye

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