The U.S. State Department has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a group of Americans who claim U.S. aid money helps fund Palestinian terrorism.
The 24 Americans now living in Israel who are the plaintiffs in the case filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for Washington, DC in November claiming that the State Department had ignored congressional safeguards and transparency requirements which govern financial assistance to the PA.
In a statement, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs and director of the Tel Aviv-based Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center ) explained: “Rather than defend the government’s foreign aid policy on its merits and provide proof that it truly knows where taxpayer money to the PA is going, the government’s lawyers are trying to dismiss the lawsuit on legal technicalities. They are saying that it is pure speculation that Americans can be injured by terrorism in Israel and that the issue of funding is a foreign policy power reserved to the US President and cannot be reviewed by the courts.”
The plaintiffs, some of whom are victims of terror themselves, claim that as a result of White House non-compliance with federal regulations, funds have been flowing to terror groups like Hamas.
“This lawsuit does not challenge the President and the State Dept’s right to conduct foreign policy nor fund the Palestinians. These plaintiffs simply object to the executive branch’s funding of the PA without oversight. It is a legitimate objection by two dozen Americans, who are the class of individuals Congress sought to protect through their safeguards. US funds are being utilized by the Palestinians for terrorism which threatens Americans and the plaintiffs will be responding to this motion and asking that the case be allowed to go forward,” Darshan-Leitner stressed.
According to the Shurat HaDin, during the last four fiscal years, average aid has been roughly $600 million per year. Additionally, the United States gives approximately $200 million to the United Nations body UNRWA an agency which provides aid to Palestinian Arab refugees.