The Israeli legal advocacy group Shurat Hadin has filed a war crimes complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice against Hamas for indiscriminate rocket fire against Ben-Gurion Airport during last summer’s Gaza war.
Shurat Hadin is representing 26 American citizens whose flights were redirected or cancelled or who were present at the airport on July 22 when American and international carriers cancelled their flights due to rocket fire that struck within a few miles of the airport, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Said the NGO’s head, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: Hamas “intentionally targeted Ben-Gurion airport this summer with the goal of killing passengers and destroying international carriers. Hamas openly boasted of its success when the FAA prohibited American flights to Ben-Gurion during the terrorist rocket attacks. The United States Department of Justice has the clear jurisdiction to indict these Hamas leaders and the attorney general needs to let the Palestinian terrorists understand that they will no longer be getting a free pass for the war crimes they committed.”
Named in the complaint were the Hamas commanders and rocket crew members involved, including: Khaled Mashaal, Hamdan Awad Sami Abu Zuhri, Hudheifa Samir Abdullah Allachlot, Ahmad Ghandour, Raed Saad, Marwan Abd al-Karim Issa and Salah Amar Dalul.
The complainants cited the American law, 18 U.S.C. § 37(a), which calls for prison sentences of up to 20 years for any person who “unlawfully and intentionally uses any substance or weapon to perform an act of violence at an international airport when the victim is a national of the United States.”
The case was prepared by attorney Robert Tolchin of New York in conjunction with Darshan-Leitner.