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February 19, 2015
Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the Shurat Hadin legal center, is currently gathering information about American citizens who were personally affected by the closure of Ben-Gurion International Airport for a day during Operation Protective Edge.
The reason? So that the center can use the information to sue Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal for war crimes, and can turn to US Attorney General Eric Holder to demand action against the terrorist organization.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Darshan-Leitner explained “we are trying to find a way to put Khaled Mashaal on trial in the US. The war crimes that he conducted against Israel and its citizens can be heard also in other courts aside from the criminal court in the Hague,” where Shurat Hadin is already pushing a suit against him.
That suit is made possible by the fact that Mashaal holds Jordanian citizenship, and also because the Palestinian Authority (PA) has requested to join the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In trying to drag Mashaal to American courts, Darshan-Leitner is going based on the American law that forbids attacking American citizens when they are in international airports.
“Hamas’s attack on Ben-Gurion International Airport was a threat on the lives of American citizens that were at the airport at the time, and therefore the US Attorney General has authority to put on trial those who threatened American citizens in this way,” explained the lawyer.
She elaborated that the types of danger that qualify under the law include flights being cancelled due to a rocket that was fired at the airport and directly struck a home in nearby Yehud. Likewise Americans who had to take cover in shelters at the airport due to the rockets also count.
“After we have all these figures we will turn to the American Attorney General and demand that he put on trial Mashaal and those who were responsible for the rocket fire from Hamas,” said Darshan-Leitner, noting that Hamas proudly took credit for the attacks leaving no doubt as to the responsible party.
As for which other Hamas leaders could be put on trial, the lawyer noted that Hamas divided Gaza into regions and placed commanders over each one, meaning those responsible for the regions from which specific fire came from could be targeted.
Darshan-Leitner noted the group has already been asked not to turn to the Israeli authorities for help as much as they can avoid it. “We’ve learned that even when we need help there’s no one to turn to,” she added.
On Shurat Hadin’s Facebook page it was emphasized that the group is particularly looking for passengers on the July 22 Delta Airlines flight 468 that was forced to land in Paris on its way to Israel, due to the rockets.
Those with information or know people affected are asked to contact [email protected]