US rights group sues Biden, Blinken, Austin on Gaza genocide

2023-11-14 14:14:41
US rights group sues Biden, Blinken, Austin on Gaza genocide

The Center 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 its development.”

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 “human animals.”

“Numerous Israeli government leaders have expressed clear genocidal intentions and deployed dehumanizing characterizations of Palestinians, including ‘human animals’,” the CCR wrote in its complaint.

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.”

Biden, backed 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.”

(Source: Agencies)

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