Survivors of the Oct. 7 massacre filed a lawsuit against Iran for sponsoring and masterminding the Hamas terrorist invasion of southern Israel.
The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. Federal Court on Wednesday and is the first effort at holding Iran responsible for the massacre Hamas carefully planned and carried out on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.
“Iran bears direct responsibility for the Oct. 7 attacks,” states the lawsuit, brought by the law firm Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart and Sullivan LLP. “Indeed, that point is essentially undisputed. The Iranian regime has openly flaunted its motive for aiding the horrors.”
Among the 67 plaintiffs, who filed the lawsuit in the Columbia District Court, were American citizens who were either wounded or taken hostage during the massacre, as well as family members of those who were murdered.
The lawsuit claims that the Republic of Iran used Hamas to launch the surprise invasion in order to derail peace-making efforts in the region: “As potential Israeli normalization with Saudi Arabia progressed, Iran prepared to reset the regional balance, including by attempting to unite Arab states around the Palestinian cause.”
According to an October report by the Wall Street Journal, at least 500 terrorists residing in Gaza, from both the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror (PIJ) groups, received extensive military training in Iran before the Oct. 7 massacres.
The lawsuit cites the Wall Street Journal, in addition to other news reports, states that Iran gave the “green light for Hamas, PIJ, and the other Iran-backed groups to launch the pre-planned attack against Israel, using Iranian intelligence, training, and military supplies.”
It also claims that Iran provided Hamas and PIJ terrorists with all of the necessities and funding to conduct an attack on such a scale.
“Iran’s provision of funds, weapons, munitions, training, and intelligence to Hamas and PIJ provided those terror groups with material support and resources used to murder, torture, take hostage, and otherwise injure Plaintiffs, along with Israeli men, women, elderly, teenagers, children, toddlers, infants, and others,” the plaintiffs noted.
The lack of response from the international community regarding Iran's role in the Oct. 7 attack, which Israelis refer to as the "Black Shabat," was also addressed in the lawsuit document.
“In many places across the world, Iran’s actions have been met with silence. But Plaintiffs will not be silent. And the laws of the United States are not silent either.” The plaintiffs add that they are bringing the lawsuit “ to vindicate their rights and those of their loved ones – and to hold the government of Iran accountable.”
The survivors and families of the victims are suing the Republic of Iran for unspecified punitive damages, damages from the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, attorneys’ fees and “any and all other relief the Court deems just and proper.”
The lawsuit against Iran is not the first to deal with the events of Oct.7 and their aftermath. Former Israeli hostage Raz Ben Ami, who was abducted from her home by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, is in the process of suing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for not acting on behalf of the Israeli hostages in Gaza, according to its mandate, which states it must visit the hostages held in Gaza, guarantee their safety or take action to assist in their release.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.