UNITED STATES NEWS

Federal judge dismisses case seeking to force US to pressure Israel to stop bombing Gaza

Jan 31, 2024, 8:28 PM

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A U.S. district judge in California dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday that sought to force the Biden administration to do all it could to make Israel stop bombing Gaza.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said he didn’t have jurisdiction over the matter, but he still offered harsh criticism of the administration and said Israel’s actions may amount to genocide.

White heard testimony last Friday in federal court in Oakland in the Oct. 7 assault by the militant group Hamas.

The complaint sought an order requiring that President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “adhere to their duty to prevent, and not further, the unfolding genocide of Palestinian people in Gaza.”

White declined to issue a preliminary injunction and dismissed the case. But he was critical of the administration, writing, “There are rare cases in which the preferred outcome is inaccessible to the Court. This is one of those cases.”

He conceded the plaintiffs’ point that “it is plausible that Israel’s conduct amounts to genocide,” and he implored the White House “to examine the results of their unflagging support of the military siege against the Palestinians in Gaza.”

The lawsuit asked the court to declare that the defendants have violated their duties to prevent genocide and to not be complicit in the commission of genocide. It sought immediate relief, including ordering the president and other U.S. officials to exert their influence over Israel to stop its bombing and to lift the siege in Gaza and to stop providing or facilitating the sales of weapons and arms to Israel.

It also asked the court to order defendants to stop obstructing attempts by the international community to call for a cease-fire in Gaza. The United States vetoed in December a United Nations resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.

Plaintiffs included Defence for Children International, based in Ramallah, West Bank, and Palestinians in Gaza and in the U.S., including Waeil Elbhassi, a U.S. citizen of Palestinian origin who lives in San Ramon, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Oakland.

Last week’s hearing came the same day as the top court of the United Nations rebuked Israel’s wartime conduct and ordered its government to do all it can to prevent death, destruction and any acts of genocide but stopped short of ordering an end to the military offensive.

The political branches of the U.S. government have wide authority over foreign policy, as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled when the family of U.S. college student Rachel Corrie tried to sue U.S. bulldozer maker Caterpillar of aiding Israel in war crimes. Corrie was run over and killed in 2003 while trying to stop the demolition of a house in Gaza.

Still, the lawsuit has brought fresh attention to the thousands of Palestinian Americans and other advocates calling for a cease-fire. They have repeatedly taken to the streets calling for the U.S. to stop supplying weapons to Israel and have demanded local city and county governments adopt cease-fire resolutions despite local U.S. officials having little sway over foreign policy.

After listening to hours of testimony Friday, White called the issue before him “the most difficult judicial decision that I’ve ever made,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Plaintiff Laila El-Haddad, a journalist in Maryland, said she had lost nearly 90 members of her extended family to Israeli attacks, the newspaper reported.

Dr. Omar Al-Najjar, also a plaintiff, said he works at a hospital in the southern Gaza city of Rafah where more than 2,000 new patients a day require treatment for severe injuries or illnesses, but there is little to no medicine, the newspaper reported.

Israeli authorities say the Oct. 7 assault by Hamas resulted in about 1,200 people dead and another 250 kidnapped as hostages.

United States News

Associated Press

Texas police arrest suspect in abduction of 12-year-old girl who was found safe after 8 days

COLUMBUS, Texas (AP) — Police in Texas have arrested a man suspected in the disappearance of a girl who was missing for eight days before she was safely located. The 27-year-old Houston man was charged with evading authorities after he attempted to flee from officers on Friday, the Columbus Police Department said in social media […]

4 hours ago

FILE - A voting sign is seen near a voting center at Croft Baptist Church, Feb. 24, 2024, in Sparta...

Associated Press

A chunk of Republican primary and caucus voters say they wouldn’t vote for Trump as the GOP nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — A small but substantial chunk of Republican primary and caucus voters say they would be so dissatisfied if Donald Trump became the party’s presidential nominee that they would not vote for him in November’s general election, according to AP VoteCast. An analysis of the data shows that many of those voters were […]

4 hours ago

Prison psychological specialist Christine Ransom, right, leads a group session for inmates, Dec. 14...

Associated Press

Prisoners with developmental disabilities face unique challenges. One facility is offering solutions

ALBION, Pa. (AP) — “You are the Lighthouse in someone’s storm,” reads the message above a mural of a sailboat bobbing on ocean waves under a cloud-studded azure sky. It’s an unexpected slogan for a prison wall. On a nearby door painted deep blue, a bright yellow Minion character offers “Ways to say hello,” lists […]

6 hours ago

FILE - Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., celebrates with his supporters af...

Associated Press

Iowa Democrats were forced to toss the caucus. They’ll quietly pick a 2024 nominee by mail instead

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — There’s a lot less fanfare for Democrats in Iowa picking their presidential nominee this year, and it’s not only because Democratic incumbent Joe Biden is in the White House. Instead of congregating for caucuses, a one-night spectacle where community members publicly signal their support for a candidate, Iowa Democrats headed […]

11 hours ago

Kylie Moreland, the Monroe County Elections Supervisor poses in her office in Bloomington, Ind., Tu...

Associated Press

An Indiana county hires yet another election supervisor, hoping she’ll stay

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana county lost its top election official nearly every other month over the last year after a longtime supervisor resigned following a counting error in the November 2022 tally. Voting advocates hope fears of a rocky election year will ease now that Monroe County has named a supervisor who is […]

11 hours ago

Christiane Keyhani, program coordinator of Hui O Ka Wai Ola, fills up the bucket to test water qual...

Associated Press

In Hawaii, coral is the foundation of life. What happened to it after the Lahaina wildfire?

Abraham “Snake” Ah Hee rides waves when the surf’s up and dives for octopus and shells when the water is calm. The lifelong Lahaina, Hawaii, resident spends so much time in the ocean that his wife jokes he needs to wet his gills. But these days Ah Hee is worried the water fronting his Maui […]

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Federal judge dismisses case seeking to force US to pressure Israel to stop bombing Gaza