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US court orders Iran, Syria to pay $191 million to family of Israeli hero Ari Fuld

Ari Fuld during reserve service in the Israel Defense Forces. (Photo courtesy of the Fuld family)

The Iranian regime and Syrian Arab Republic must pay $191 million for the 2018 murder of U.S.-Israeli hero Ari Fuld, the U.S. District Court ruled on Thursday.

Fuld, the assistant director of Standing Together, an organization that supports IDF soldiers, was fatally stabbed by a Hamas terrorist near the Rami Levy supermarket in the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank as he was finishing his shopping.

Described as a hero by family and friends, Fuld, a former paratrooper and a passionate advocate for Israel on social media and elsewhere, pursued his attacker, despite being mortally wounded in the back and neck. According to reports, upon being stabbed, Fuld jumped a fence and drew his gun to shoot the terrorist so wouldn't get away. His attacker had already attempted to harm a woman working in a nearby shop, and Ari helped save her life.  

U.S. Senior Judge Royce Lamberth found that Fuld's family and estate were entitled to compensation from Syria and Iran for their material support of Hamas.

Iran and Syria “intentionally supported and encouraged a proxy actor who specifically sought to inflict violence upon innocent civilians,” Lamberth wrote in the ruling. 

“The stabbing that killed Mr. Fuld was a tragic event, and money cannot fully account for the harm that these defendants have inflicted,” Lamberth continued. “Iran and Syria have, once again, provided material support to Hamas and thereby facilitated the savage murder of a husband, father, son and brother to these plaintiffs.”

Iran and Syria had not sent lawyers to dispute the case, so the ruling was considered a default judgment in the defendant’s absence.

In a statement, the lawyer representing Fuld, Richard Heideman, stressed the importance of showing the world that murdering Americans and other Westerners in Israel must not go unpunished.

“Israel-bashers want the world, including Americans, to believe that when Americans or Westerners are killed, injured or taken hostage in Israel, it is simply a by-product of the conspiratorial lie that Hamas’s conduct is merely ‘justified resistance’. It is not,” Heideman said in the statement.

“The conduct of Hamas and its patrons, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Arab Republic and others who provide fuel for their terror is reprehensible and violative of international law.”

In an interview with the Jewish News Syndicate, Heideman said that, apart from compensating Ari’s family, the ruling sends a strong signal to both Iran and Syria.

“The court also went one step further and assessed punitive damages, as not only a punishment of Iran and Syria but also to send a loud and clear message that the court will not countenance the continued sponsorship by Iran and Syria of terror against Americans,” the lawyer said.

He noted that the ruling could be a precursor to lawsuits in the wake of the Oct. 7 massacre.

“It is important, we believe, to stand against terror in every way that we can,” Heideman asserted. “We and other law firms are indeed busily standing up on behalf of victims and their families as a result of these acts of terror. Our firm has been engaged to represent a number of families and we’ve drafted complaints that will be strategically filed in the near future. It’s not a military act, but it’s an act of defiance that is essential.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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