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Israel Targeted in Suit That Invokes Law Created To Help 9/11 Victims

A U.S. law passed to help families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia is now being used against Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, according to a report in Politico.

American attorney Martin F. McMahon filed suit on February 1 against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pro-settlement charities linked to Donald Trump’s Israel envoy pick David Friedman and his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Friedman is named in the suit, along with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

The suit invokes a law, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, that was passed last year.

Families of 9/11 victims pushed for JASTA to be able to use the courts to examine whether Saudi Arabia funded the 2001 attacks, a claim for which U.S. investigators say there is no evidence. Previously, U.S. law barred lawsuits against foreign governments.

The lawsuit against Israel was filed on behalf of about three dozen plaintiffs, including Palestinians, Palestinian-Americans, and American Jews.

“We allege that the U.S. defendants and Netanyahu have been frustrating the implementation of the two-state solution for years,” McMahon told Politico in an email.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com

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