A group of Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans who have been victims of Israeli settlement construction filed a lawsuit this week to demand financial compensation from some of the companies, individuals and organizations responsible for funding the construction.Israeli settlement construction takes place on illegally seized Palestinian land, and is considered a flagrant violation of international law and Israel’s responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention as an occupying power.
The U.S. Government has also condemned Israeli settlement construction – although a bill being considered by the U.S. Congress right now would make it illegal to boycott Israeli products that come from these illegal settlements.
In fact, U.S. Law currently allows U.S. Citizens to donate to the Israeli military directly – the only military on earth that U.S. Citizens are allowed to directly donate to. In addition, U.S. Citizens and groups are permitted to give tax-deductible donations to Israeli settlement construction project – despite the fact that doing so directly violates U.S. Stated policy.
The lawsuit launched this week names Washington lobbyist and multi-millionaire Sheldon Adelson, investor Irving Moskowitz, right-wing mega-church pastor John Hagee and other individuals who have funneled millions of dollars into Israeli colonial settlement construction.
In addition, a number of organizations are named in the lawsuit, including ‘Christian Friends of Israeli Communities’, Israel Chemicals Limited, the controversial Dead Sea cosmetics company Ahava, and security firm G4S.
Martin McMahon, one of the lawyers representing the complainants in the lawsuit, told reporters from Al Jazeera, ‘It’s about time that the world woke up to the fact that Palestinians are being murdered every day with US taxpayer dollars.’
In addition to charging the defendants with funding illegal settlement construction, the lawsuit also charges five counts of conspiracy, war crimes, aggravated trespass, pillage and racketeering.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in Washington DC.