Washington, D.C. – June 30, 2014 – Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) called for Congressional oversight hearings regarding the unwillingness of the Department of Justice to prosecute Palestinian terrorists who have killed or harmed American citizens. Just today, it was announced that yet another American – Naftali Frenkel, a sixteen year old boy – had been murdered by members of the Palestinian Hamas terrorist group.
Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, there have been more than seventy-one cases of Arab Palestinian terror attacks resulting in American casualties in and around Israel. The number of American victims of attacks in Israel now stands at more than 58 killed and 83 wounded. However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has never indicted, extradited, or prosecuted a single Arab Palestinian terrorist who has harmed an American within Israel or the Palestinian territories.
This is despite the fact that American law gives the DOJ the legal tools to prosecute these Palestinian terrorists. In 1990, the U.S. Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism Act, 18 USC Sec. 2332, which requires the prosecution and punishment, in United States courts, of individuals who murder or maim American citizens in acts of international terrorism. A conspirator in such a crime can get up to 20 years imprisonment, and no statute of limitations precludes prosecution of old offenses. In 2005, the Congress passed the Koby Mandell Act, Public Law No: 108-447, which required the Attorney General to establish an office in the Department of Justice – the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OJVOT) – to monitor acts of terrorism against Americans outside the U.S. and attempt to bring to justice those terrorists who have harmed Americans. EMET’s Founder and President, Sarah Stern, who has spent decades working with the American victims of Palestinian terrorism, was one of the main initiators of the Koby Mandell Act. Although its broad language applied to all overseas cases where Americans were harmed by terrorists, the Koby Mandell Act was especially meant international to be focused on acts of terrorism alleged to have been committed by Palestinian individuals or individuals acting on behalf of Palestinian organizations.
EMET calls for immediate oversight hearings by the U.S. House and U.S. Senate Judiciary Committees to investigate the unwillingness of the DOJ and the OJVOT to prosecute these Palestinian terrorists with American blood on their hands. The DOJ should no longer be allowed to excuse its inaction by claiming there are “evidentiary problems” or “ongoing investigations.” And the OJVOT must be forced to justify its current existence as an office, in light of its obvious incompetence in pressuring DOJ to prosecute these terrorists.
“It has been almost twenty-five years since the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act,” said Founder and President of EMET Sarah Stern, “and nine years since the Koby Mandell Act was passed. Yet nothing has been done by the Department of Justice to prosecute these vicious Palestinian terrorists with American blood on their hands.” She continued, “the families of American victims deserve equal justice. And since the Justice Department refuses to prosecute, the U.S. Congress should hold hearings, and demand that they do their job.”
About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2006, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, https://emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.
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