US rights group sues Biden, Blinken, Austin on Gaza genocide
for Constitutional Rights asked a federal court to enjoin President Biden,
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin
from providing further arms, money, and diplomatic support to Israel.
A federal complaint has been filed against these three
US officials for failing to “prevent an unfolding genocide and complicity in
New York civil liberties group
the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed the suit on Monday on behalf of Palestinian human
rights organizations, Palestinians in Gaza, and US citizens with relatives in
the besieged enclave, who have faced nearly 40 days of unrelenting bombardments
by Israel, which has been militarily and financially backed by the US.
“Under international law, the
United States has a duty to take all measures available to it to prevent
genocide. Yet, Defendants have repeatedly refused to use their obvious and
considerable influence to set conditions or place limits on Israel’s massive
bombing and total siege of Gaza,” the lawsuit reads.
It slammed the Biden
administration for opposing “a life-saving cease-fire and lifting of the siege”
and even vetoing “United Nations measures calling for a ceasefire.”
The complaint said the US, being
Israel’s closest ally, strongest supporter, and biggest provider of military
assistance, could have a “deterrent effect on Israeli officials now pursuing
genocidal acts against the Palestinian people.”
“Instead, their actions to fund,
arm, and endorse Israel’s mass and devastating bombing campaign and total siege
of the Palestinians in Gaza constitutes a failure to prevent an unfolding
genocide and complicity in its development.”
It also criticized the US for
repeatedly affirming support for Israel even after it was widely reported that
Israeli minister for military affairs Yoav Gallant called Palestinians in Gaza
“Numerous Israeli government
leaders have expressed clear genocidal intentions and deployed dehumanizing
characterizations of Palestinians, including ‘human animals’,” the CCR wrote in
It noted that those “statements
of intent” when combined with the “mass killing” of Palestinians, reveal
“evidence of an unfolding crime of genocide.”
According to the Gaza-based health
ministry, more than 11 thousand Palestinians, including 4,600 children and more
than 3,000 women, have been killed since October 7 and 29,000 others injured
amid brutal Israeli strikes against the coastal enclave.
“To be honest, it’s difficult to
revisit all the scenes of the past weeks. They open a door to hell when I
recall them,” said Al-Najjar, a 24-year-old intern physician who works at
Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis, Gaza, in a statement.
“I’ve lost five relatives,
treated too many children who are the sole survivors of their families,
received the bodies of my fellow medical students and their families, and seen
the hospital turn into a shelter for tens of thousands of people as we all run
out of fuel, electricity, food, and water. The US has to stop this genocide.
Everyone in the world has to stop this.”
by nearly every congressional Republican and most Democrats, is preparing to
send $14 billion in military aid to Israel.
The lawsuit also calls for an end
to the annual military support the US sends to Israel.
Laila al-Haddad, a US citizen and
one of the plaintiffs in the case, has lost five relatives in Gaza since Israel
launched its attacks.
“I paid for Israel to kill my
cousins and my aunt, there’s no two ways around it,” she told Al Jazeera. “It
was my tax dollars that did that, that sent those bombs to Israel to kill my
family. And so I feel I and all other American taxpayers have a very unique
responsibility to hold our government and our elected officials responsible.”