Consecutive US administrations have failed to seek justice for US citizens who were victims of Palestinian terrorism, and now the Obama administration is facing criticism as well for neglecting this issue.
The US has failed to prosecute Palestinian terrorists who murdered US citizens and has not used the means at its disposal to seek justice for them, and now the Obama administration is facing mounting scrutiny from Congress which is demanding answers on the matter.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the Obama administration has not prosecuted a single Palestinian terrorist responsible for killing Americans abroad, despite a congressional mandate ordering the Justice Department to take action against these individuals.
Palestinian terrorists have murdered at least 64 Americans, including two unborn children, since 1993. Yet consecutive US government has failed to take legal action against those who committed the crimes, lawmakers disclosed during a Tuesday hearing on the Justice Department’s failure to act on its mandate to bring these terrorists to justice.
Justice Department officials say they are working to initiate cases, but claim this could take “many years.”
The Justice Department has repeatedly declined to comment when faced with questions from Congress about the lack of prosecutions, according to Congressman Ron DeSantis (R., Fl.), chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security.
The Justice Department “has not been able to cite one example for this committee of even a single terrorist who has been prosecuted in the US for any of the 64 attacks against Americans in Israel,” DeSantis said. “Indeed, many of these terrorists roam free as the result of prisoner exchanges or evasion.”
“This is not what Congress intended” when it created the DOJ’s Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism in 2005, DeSantis added. “This is not what the American people want, and this does not provide justice to the victims’ families that has been so tragically elusive.”
One such case is that of Ahlam Tamimi, a Palestinian woman, blew up a Jerusalem pizza shop in 2001, killing 15, including a pregnant American woman. Tamimi currently resides in Jordan and hosts a television show on the Hamas-owned Al Quds station.
“When the [oversight] committee questioned the DOJ about this case, the department declined to comment,” DeSantis said. “If in fact bringing to justice the perpetrators of terrorism against Americans in Israel is a high priority for the DOJ, then surely people of this nature should be prosecuted for their crimes.”
Justice Department officials who testified maintain that they are aggressively working behind the scenes to make cases against foreign terrorists who have killed and injured Americans, the Free Beacon reports, and yet not one case has come to fruition.
Brad Wiegmann, the deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s national security division, maintained that there are a number of “open investigations,” though he declined to provide further information.
“While I cannot discuss these investigations today or the facts of specific cases, it’s important to note the absence of public charges associated with a particular overseas attack does not mean that there are no charges, or that no such charges will be brought,” Weigmann is quoted by the Free Beacon as saying, noting that a prosecution could take place “many years” after an attack.
“I can certainly understand the frustration of some of the families that the Department of Justice has not prosecuted more cases involving terrorist attacks against Americans in Israel,” Wiegmann said, yet most of “these cases do not involve any of the recent attacks within Israel,” he admitted.
The US Has ‘Left Me Feeling Let Down’
The Free Beacon reports that American victims of Palestinian terrorism who testified at the hearing offered sharp criticism of the Justice Department for failing to take on terrorists in the US courts.
Sari Singer, who was injured in a 2003 Palestinian terror attack on a bus in Jerusalem, said that she has lost faith in the government.
“The government’s track record in extraditing or even seeking extradition of Palestinian terrorists who have murdered American citizens is nonexistent,” Singer said. “I grew up believing that my country would be there for me and protect me no matter where I was in the world. These last years have left me feeling let down.”
Peter Schwartz, whose nephew Ezra was shot in the head by a Palestinian terrorist in November 2015, said that the Obama administration has not been forthcoming about any potential investigations into the incident.
“We are not aware of what if any US actions have been undertaken to investigate this case, and we still have many unanswered questions about the attack that claimed Ezra’s life and what role our government can play in answering them,” Schwartz told the committee.
The Obama administration was criticized in August when it sought to limit the restitution American victims of terrorism could receive. The administration argued in a legal briefing issued to the court that a large cash award to these victims could complicate the administration’s efforts to foster peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
By: United with Israel Staff
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