Public Briefing on Capitol Hill: "Commemorating Qana and Still Seeking Justice Ten Years Later"National Day of Action
On April 25th, the family members of Qana victims along with a human rights attorney litigating the case against Moshe Ya'alon and Congressman John Conyers', Jr. (D, 14th-MI) demanded Israeli accountability to human rights and international law on the 10th Anniversary of the shelling of the U.N. compound in Qana.
Nearly 45 households with family members killed in the shelling presently live in Dearborn, Michigan. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D, 14th-MI), entered a statement on the survivors' behalf into the Congressional Record to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the shelling on behalf of his constituents. Mr. Conyers said, "It is with great sorrow that we remember the events of April 18, 1996. On behalf of Michigan's 14th Congressional District, my family and I offer our support and prayers to the Bitar family and to the many others who lost loved ones on that tragic day.". To read the statement, click here.
Among his constituents is Haidar Bitar, who has been living in Dearborn for 13 years. In 1996, Bitar lost his two sons Hadi, 7 years old, and Aboudi, 9 years old in the Qana shelling while they were on vacation in Qana visiting their ailing grandmother. His daugher, Katia, spoke on behalf of the Bitar family. To read her statement, click here.
Bitar is a member of the class on whose behalf a lawsuit was filed against Moshe Ya’alon, a retired Israeli general who served as Head of Israeli Army Intelligence during the shelling. Filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the claims in the suit, Belhas, et. al., v. Ya’alon, include war crimes, extrajudicial killing, crimes against humanity, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Judith Brown Chomsky, a CCR cooperating attorney, spoke at the briefing and said, “There is no official in any country that is above the law. It is important that we have a single standard by which people of any country can be called to justice for the violation of human rights. It’s not just for petty dictators who are on the U.S. enemies list.”
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