A Palestinian native who lives in Orange County is suing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to "cease all military aid to all Israelis and the Israeli government" and to deny Israeli military officers U.S. entry by declaring "them persona non grata."
Akram Abusharar, a licensed attorney in Michigan though he lives and works in Anaheim, paid a $400 fee and filed his lawsuit on Aug. 5 inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.
According to Abusharar, Israeli military forces maliciously bombed his family's home in the Gaza Strip within the week while using "weapons provided" to the Israeli armed forces by Kerry and Hagel.
"Plaintiff and his family have suffered at the hands of the Israeli army over the years," the complaint states. "His brother was killed when he was 16 in 1988 by the Israeli army. His family of over 30 people was nearly killed in the explosion this past week. His father passed away as a result of the siege in Gaza because he could not obtain the proper medical treatment in April 2014. Many other homes in the area have been bombed and destroyed."
Abusharar believes Kerry and Hagel have repeatedly violated laws including the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, a measure he says bans military equipment transfers to nations that grossly violate human rights.
"It is clear from the constant attacks from Israel to the Gaza Strip, killing thousands of civilians, including women and young children are violations of human rights," he wrote. "The Human Rights Report released by the defendant Department of State specifically details the human rights violations committed by Israel against the Palestinian civilians. Yet, the defendants continue to provide military aid to Israel in direct violation of the Leahy Law. There is no reason that Israel should be targeting family homes. These actions constitute human rights violations, which mean that the defendants should cease all assistance."
Court officials in Orange County sent a 60-day summons requesting that Kerry and Hagel reply to the complaint.
According to Abusharar's colleagues, the plaintiff was not available for comment to OC Weekly this morning due to an unrelated court appearance.
A trial date has not yet been selected, but the case is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford.
According to an Aug. 5 New York Times report, death toll figures for the most recent conflict in Gaza are difficult to determine with Palestinian hospital officials saying the number is 1,865–including more than 500 kids, women and senior citizens, while a United Nations study states the number 1,814. Israeli officials are suggesting an entirely different total, claiming they've only killed 900 "terrorists," according to the Times.
Abusharar's website, AbushararLaw.com, notes he specializes in immigration law and in the past worked for an international immigration non-profit organization called Access.