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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 March 2019

Twenty-two US citizens file lawsuit against Hezbollah for inflicting 'trauma' in 2006 war

The lawsuit filed in New York federal court alleges psychological harm from rocket fire

Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gesture as they hold Hezbollah flags in Marjayoun. Reuters
Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gesture as they hold Hezbollah flags in Marjayoun. Reuters

Twenty-two US citizens filed a lawsuit against the Lebanese Hezbollah this week in New York, alleging they were traumatized from the 2006 war while living in Northern Israel.

Hezbollah launched a number of rocket attacks towards northern Israel during the armed conflict that lasted from July 12 until August 14, 2006.

The conflict resulted in at least 1,109 Lebanese deaths, the vast majority of whom were civilians. Hezbollah's rocket attacks on Israel, resulted in the deaths of 43 Israeli civilians and 12 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, according to Human Rights Watch.

The lawsuit, first reported by the New York Post, was filed in Brooklyn's Federal Court on Monday.

The 36-page lawsuit is filed by Malka Kumer, her sister Chana Liba and twenty others against Hezbollah.

The sisters, who were 5 and 6 and living with their family in the city of Safed during the strikes in the summer of 2006, "have experienced psychological and emotional trauma as a result” the New York Post reported.

The plaintiffs reported signs of trauma including panic attacks and nervous breakdowns.

The plaintiffs filed another lawsuit against the Iranian Bank Saderat in the same Federal Court on Monday accusing it of funding Hezbollah’s attacks.

The plaintiffs are asking for $50 million in compensation from Hezbollah and the Iranian bank. It is unclear, however, if the New York court will have jurisdiction over either party being sued.

In 2013, the second US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected a lawsuit from over twenty Israeli, American and Canadian citizens who alleged to be victims of Hezbollah’s rocket attacks in the 2006 war.

The plaintiffs had filed a federal suit against the Lebanese Canadian Bank in 2008 for allegedly facilitating transfers of millions of dollars to Hezbollah.

But the court rejected the case claiming it lacked jurisdiction over the Lebanese bank because customary international law immunized corporations from liability from claims under the federal Alien Tort Statute (ATS), according to Reuters.

But the Lebanese Canadian bank had to pay $102 million in 2013 after it was found to be involved in a money-laundering scheme. The court case was brought by the US justice department.

In 2014, a Brooklyn jury indicted Jordan’s Arab Bank for “supporting operations that killed and injured Americans in Israel by executing a financial transaction with high-ranking members of Hamas” the New York Post reported. “The bank agreed to pay a $100 million settlement to the victims.”

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Updated: January 2, 2019 09:56 PM

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