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Hamas Sued by Pro-Israel Lobby in Belgium

Thursday, 24 Dec 2009 11:56 AM

The European Initiative, a new European pro-Israeli lobby, has filed a lawsuit in Belgium against Hamas leaders from Gaza and Damascus, demanding that they be brought to justice for war crimes.

The lawsuit is intended as a response to Palestinian legal warfare against Israel and the various lawsuits filed against Israelis in international courts. It was filed on behalf of 15 Israeli citizens who live in the Gaza periphery and who hold Belgian citizenship.

Among the Hamas leaders targeted by the lawsuit are Damascus-based leader Khaled Mashaal, Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh, former foreign minister Mahmoud Zahar and Ahmed Jabri, who heads the group's military wing.

"The request for arrest warrants was submitted after six months of legal preparation and is based on strict evidence which ties Hamas leaders to terror attacks in which Belgium citizens ware harmed," the Israelis' attorney, Roel Coveliers, said.

"The Goldstone Report says, among other things, that the rocket attacks by Hamas constitute a violation of international humanitarian law, so as a member of the United Nations, I don't believe Belgium will ignore the complaint," Coveliers said.

It marks the second lawsuit in recent months filed against a terror organization for its attacks on Israelis.

In April, 30 Israelis who were hurt during the Second Lebanon War filed a lawsuit against North Korea and Hizbullah for more than $100 million in Washington District Court.

The plaintiffs, all of whom hold US citizenship, charged that North Korea trained senior Hizbullah officers and built a series of bunkers in south Lebanon to store Katyushas and other rockets that the Hizbullah used against Israel during the 2006 war, thwarting IAF efforts to locate launching pads.

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The European Initiative, a new European pro-Israeli lobby, has filed a lawsuit in Belgium against Hamas leaders from Gaza and Damascus, demanding that they be brought to justice for war crimes.
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