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July 14, 2010 – Ninety- one civilians who were injured or had relatives who were injured or killed in the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah have filed suit against Qatar-based television network Al-Jazeera, saying the news channel violated Israeli military censorship in 2006 when it aided Hezbollah by airing locations of the missile strikes inside Israel.
The lawsuit, Kaplan et al. v. Al-Jazeera, was filed Monday in New York federal court by attorneys Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Robert J. Tolchin and the Washington firm Heideman, Nudelman & Kalik. The suit is seeking $1.2 billion in compensation and alleges that Al-Jazeera deliberately violated military censorship rules when it reported on missile strike areas so Hezbollah could better aim its rockets at Israel.
Some of the strikes that killed or harmed Israeli civilians can be directly linked to certain Al-Jazeera news segments on the locations of the missile strikes, Mrs. Darshan-Leitner told us.
During the 50-page complaint, 2006 war, which lasted 34 days, Hezbollah fire approximately 4,000 rockets into Israel. These killed more than 150 Israelis.
“Al Jazeera provided extensive material support and resources to Hezbollah that caused, enabled and facilitated the Hezbollah Rocket Barrage,” reads the 50-page complaint, which also details the death circumstances and injuries of the plaintiffs. Injuries include shrapnel wounds and paralysis, and some of the plaintiffs have required extensive skin grafts and numerous surgeries.
Since U.S. citizens wishing to sue under U.S. anti-terrorism legislation must do so within four years of the terrorist activity in question, the suit had to be filed this month, Mrs. Darshan-Leitner said.