A federal court rejects a request for the US to put pressure on Israel to cease bombing Gaza

In Oakland, a United States district judge in California dismissed a lawsuit on Wednesday that aimed to compel the Biden administration to take all necessary measures to halt Israel’s bombing of Gaza. Judge Jeffrey White, presiding over the case, asserted the lack of jurisdiction but did not refrain from delivering scathing remarks on the administration. He suggested that Israel’s actions could potentially amount to genocide.

During the hearing last Friday in a federal court in Oakland, the unusual lawsuit, filed in November on behalf of Palestinian human rights organizations and individuals who lost family members in the aftermath of the October 7 assault by the militant group Hamas, sought an order demanding President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to fulfill their duty in preventing the unfolding genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Despite White’s refusal to issue a preliminary injunction and his subsequent dismissal of the case, he did not shy away from criticizing the administration. He acknowledged the plausibility that Israel’s conduct could be considered genocide and urged the White House to reconsider its unwavering support for the military siege against Palestinians in Gaza.

The lawsuit aimed for a declaration that the defendants violated their duties to prevent genocide and not be complicit in its commission. It sought immediate relief, including instructing U.S. officials to influence Israel to cease its bombing, lift the Gaza siege, and halt the sale of weapons and arms to Israel. Furthermore, it urged the court to order defendants to stop hindering international efforts for a cease-fire in Gaza, despite the U.S. vetoing a UN resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in December.

Plaintiffs, including Defence for Children International and Palestinians in Gaza and the U.S., brought attention to the thousands of Palestinian Americans and advocates calling for a cease-fire. The lawsuit, while highlighting the limited influence of local U.S. officials over foreign policy, has renewed efforts to curb the supply of weapons to Israel.

After an extensive hearing last Friday, Judge White referred to the issue before him as “the most difficult judicial decision” he has made. The plaintiff, Laila El-Haddad, a journalist in Maryland, shared the tragic loss of nearly 90 extended family members due to Israeli attacks.

Omar Al-Najjar, another plaintiff, revealed the dire situation at a hospital in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where over 2,000 new patients daily require treatment for severe injuries or illnesses amid a shortage of medicine.

Israeli authorities attributed about 1,200 deaths and 250 hostage kidnappings to the October 7 assault by Hamas.

Related Articles

Back to top button