Americans living in Israel sue State Dept.

Nov. 27, 2012 at 11:07 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Two dozen Americans living in Israel filed suit Tuesday against the U.S. State Department, alleging it funded Palestinian terrorism in Gaza and the West Bank.

The civil suit, filed in Washington, alleges the State Department, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ignored congressional safeguards and transparency requirements tied to U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys said in a release.

The plaintiffs also claimed the White House hasn't complied with regulations and reporting requirements for presidential waivers to facilitate emergency funding to Palestinians. Because of this, U.S. funds "have been flowing to terror groups like Hamas, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Front," the release said.

The suit seeks a review of the State Department's conduct and safeguards on funds distributed by the U.S. Agency for International Development to the P.A. and to the U.N. Refugee Worker's Administration. It also seeks the suspension of future aid to the P.A. and U.N. organization until all regulations and reporting requirements are met.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Norman Steiner of New York and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel Aviv.

Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center in Tel Aviv, said once the U.S. funding is handed over to the Palestinian Authority and the U.N. Refugee Worker's Administration, it is "difficult to trace and the State Department has been lax in requiring the Palestinians to utilize bank accounts and other transfer methods that ensure transparency."

"[Elements] of the U.S. government, particularly the State Department and USAID, are breaking the law and must cease all funding of the P.A. immediately," Darshan-Leitner said.

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