(Reuters) – A U.S. Pat. Appeals court has revived a $ 1 billion lawsuit by Palestinians seeking to hold billionaire Sheldon Adelson and more than 30 other prosecutions for alleged war crimes and support for Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
FILE PHOTO: Casino magnate and Republican political contributor Sheldon Adelson stands as he attends a ceremony where U.S. President Donald Trump is awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to his wife, Miriam Adelson in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. November 16, 2018. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst / File Photo
In a 3-0 decision on Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said in federal district judge wrongly concluded in August 2017 that all of the plaintiffs' claims raised political questions that could not be decided in American courts.
The plaintiffs, including 18 Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans as well as a Palestinian village council, allegedly among many defendants to expel non-Jews from the disputed territories speech.
Other defendants included the billionaire Larry Ellison, Bank Leumi BM and Bank Hapoalim BM, construction and support companies such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co and Volvo AB, 13 nonprofits, and the United States.
The lawyer for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for the individual, nonprofit and corporate defendants, as well as the U.S. The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to similar requests. In dismissing the case, U.S. Pat. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington had said it was "inappropriate" for resolving the issue of the settlements, because it was "close to the heart of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and central to the United States" foreign policy decision-making in the region. ”
But in Tuesday's decision, on the merits, Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said the only political question concerned who had sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied territories.
He said that he could rule on whether or not he was non-Jews or committed crimes "without touching the sovereignty question if it was concluded that Israeli settlers were committing genocide." legal issue ”because genocide violated the law of nations, and could support the plaintiffs' claim under the federal Alien Tort Statute.
Adelson is the chief executive of casino company Las Vegas Sands Corp. Ellison is the chairman of Oracle Corp., the database software company he co-founded. The case is Al-Tamimi et al v Adelson et al., D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, no. 17-5207.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown