Palestinians Sue Biden for Genocide: Groundbreaking Legal Action in U.S. Courts

February 1, 2024
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Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister and U.S President Joe Biden meet in Tel Aviv, October 18, 2023

In the aftermath of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) recognizing a plausible case implicating Israel in genocide in Gaza, a groundbreaking legal proceeding unfolded in a federal courtroom in Oakland, California. Testifying before District Court Judge Jeffrey White in a live-streamed session, several Palestinians filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, alleging their failure to prevent genocide and complicity in it.

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Demonstrators outside a federal courthouse in Oakland California where several Palestinians testified against Bidens complicity in genocide

From a hospital in Gaza, plaintiff Omar Al-Najjar conveyed the profound impact of the war: “I have lost everything in this war. I have nothing but my grief. This is what Israel and its supporters have done to us.” Al-Najjar also highlighted dire conditions, revealing instances of “widespread childbirth in the street.”

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Dr Omar Al Najjar gives testimony via Zoom from a hospital in Gaza

Initiated by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on November 13, 2023, the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Northern California represents Palestinian human rights organizations Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) and Al-Haq, three residents of Gaza, and five Palestinian Americans with family ties to Gaza. The complaint, titled Defense for Children International – Palestine v. Biden, asserts violations of the Genocide Convention and customary international law prohibiting genocide.

On November 16, the plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction to immediately halt Biden, Blinken, and Austin from providing additional financial, military, and diplomatic support to Israel for its actions in Gaza.

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Military plane carrying American armored SUVs lands at an airport in Tel Aviv Israel October 19th 2023h

The hearing on January 26, 2024, featured testimonies from Palestinian plaintiffs and an expert on genocide and the Holocaust. Testifying from Gaza, Ramallah, and the courtroom, the plaintiffs vividly described the death, devastation, and displacement experienced by their families since Israel initiated its military assault following the October 7 Hamas attacks.