Relatives of a 19-year-old U.S. citizen killed in Israel’s 2010 storming of a Turkish-led flotilla are suing former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak for the raid.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement that the lawsuit “is yet another attempt to abuse otherwise legitimate legal tools for the cynical, political purpose of attacking the state of Israel.”
“We are confident that the United States will not lend its hand to such abuse,” said Nahshon, who does not speak for Barak.
Furkan Dogan, a dual Turkish-U.S. citizen, was filming on the flotilla carrying some 700 activists attempting to run Israel’s blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza when IDF commandos intervened, opening fire in self-defense when armed passengers attacked them.
Dogan was shot five times, including in the head at point-blank range, say his lawyers. At the time, Israel said the flotilla’s crew had been warned repeatedly before the raid.
The civil case is being brought in California by some of the same human rights lawyers who have been attempting, so far unsuccessfully, to force the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) to mount a criminal investigation into the incident.
The case is being brought in U.S. federal courts under the Alien Tort Claims, Torture Prevention and Anti-Terrorist acts. Since it is a civil suit, there is no possibility of Barak facing arrest.