The plaintiffs are 24 Americans living in Israel, some of whom were injured in terrorist attacks. The defendants are Hillary Clinton and a number of State Department officials, including the head of USAID. And the lawsuit has long been overdue.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Washington, DC, contends that the State Department and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ignored Congressional safeguards and transparency requirements attached to US aid to the Palestinian Authority, thus allowing for the funneling of funds to Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Palestine Liberation Front. It also accuses the White House of not complying with the regulations and reporting obligations governing presidential waivers which facilitate emergency funding to the Palestinians.
“I just want justice,” said Stuart Hersh, one of the plaintiffs, an elderly Jerusalem resident and victim of a terror attack on Ben Yehuda Street in the same city in 1997, which caused him brain damage and left him partially disabled. “I am against the American government indirectly financing Hamas — the very people who try to kill me,” Hersh said by telephone, adding that he differentiates between “humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people and supporting political agendas.”
Karen Bell Eisenberg, an American-Israeli who lives outside Bethlehem in the West Bank, put it this way: “I don’t begrudge Palestinian aid money. But I’m tired of my tax money [she works for an American company and pays taxes in the US] being used to fund the very people who are trying to kill me.”
The State Department, under the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, is prohibited from providing “material support” to banned terrorist groups.
“USAID’s funding of the PA, for example, is partially distributed to Gaza, where Hamas employees are paid,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, said.
The State Department and USAID were particularly “lax” in requiring the Palestinians to “utilize bank accounts and other transfer methods that ensure transparency.” US funds have been flowing to the terror groups as a result of this noncompliance.
The meat of the story is in the lawsuit which extensively lays out where the money has been coming from and going to.
In April 2012, Defendant Secretary of State decided to provide the Palestinian Authority (or others within the West Bank and Gaza) with the remaining approximately $192,000,000, notwithstanding that the congressional hold on that funding had not been lifted
Pursuant to President Obama’s waiver described above and(perhaps) Defendant Secretary of State’s certification described above, the United States gave to the Palestinian Authority and/or others within the West Bank and Gaza approximately $192,000,000 on April 28, 2012
In the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, the United States obligated and/or gave approximately $200,000,000 of Economic Support Fund resources directly to the Palestinian Authority
There are countless entries like these showing money being transferred either without following congressional limits and restrictions or ignoring the necessary measures to insure that the money is not going to terrorists. And Obama, by bypassing such safeguards, is effectively funding terrorism.
The Palestinian Authority does not deem certain terrorist activity as criminal activity and therefore cannot be trusted to prevent the diversion of money to terrorist or for terrorism
Upon information and belief, the Palestinian Authority pays monthly salaries to approximately 5,500 prisoners in Israeli prisons, including convicted terrorists. Despite constant budget shortages the Palestinian Authority pays over$5,000,000 a month directly to terrorists and their families for their violent and illegal services to the Palestinian Authority
Upon information and belief, a law signed and published in the official Palestinian Authority Registry in April 2011 puts on the Palestinian Authority payroll to receive a monthly salary all Palestinians and Israeli Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terror crimes. The salaries to imprisoned terrorists are in excess of the average wage paid to Palestinians
The Palestinian Authority funds the salaries for terrorists from its general budget, much of which is derived from U.S. foreign aid
Because, as alleged above, the United States’ funding is necessary for the continued operation of the Palestinian Authority’s terrorist recruitment operations, the United States is a willing participant in that recruitment operation by facilitating the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to encourage more of its civilians to become terrorists
The lawsuit rightly charges the State Department and Obama with funding terrorism. But whether anything will be done about that is another story.