Facebook sued for $1 billion by victims of Hamas terror attacks

by WorldTribune Staff, July 12, 2016

An Israeli rights group has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Facebook on behalf of the families of American victims of Hamas terror attacks.

The suit, filed by the Shurat HaDin group with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, argues the social media giant “knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas… facilitat(ing) this terrorist group’s ability to communicate, recruit members, plan and carry out attacks, and strike fear in its enemies.”

US war veteran Taylor Force died in a Palestinian attack while visiting Israel as a tourist in March. /AP
U.S. veteran Taylor Force died in a Palestinian attack while visiting Israel in March. /AP

Among the victims cited in the case is Taylor Force, 28, who was stabbed to death while visiting Israel in March. The others are dual Israeli-U.S. nationals who died in attacks in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the West Bank between 2014 and 2016.

“The spreading of incitement to violence on social media” by Palestinians helped to ignite a wave a recent attacks against Israelis, according to a report on the Israel-Palestinian conflict last week by the Quartet group of international mediators.

“Hamas and other radical factions are responsible for the most explicit and widespread forms of incitement. These groups use media outlets to glorify terrorism and openly call for violence against Jews, including instructing viewers on how to carry out stabbings,” the report said.

The lawsuit was brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1992 which prohibits American businesses from providing any material support, including services, to designated terrorist groups and their leaders.

Hamas called the lawsuit an Israeli attempt to blackmail Facebook.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, accused Israel of trying to turn it into a spy tool against Palestinians. “The real test for the owners of Facebook is to reject this pressure,” he said.