Children sit in a destroyed car in Gaza

Children sit in a destroyed car in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on February 28, 2024.

(Photo: AFP)

'Expedited' Appeal on US Complicity in Gaza Genocide Means Early June Hearing

While welcoming the news, the head of Defense for Children International - Palestine said that "each day that passes without an end to Israel's genocidal campaign results in catastrophe for Palestinian children in Gaza."

As over 100,000 Michiganders signaled to President Joe Biden that they oppose U.S. support for Israel's genocidal war on Gaza, a federal court on Tuesday granted a motion to expedite the appeal of a recently dismissed lawsuit against officials including the president.

Just over a month into Israel's retaliatory assault on Gaza for the October 7 Hamas-led attack, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sued Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on behalf of the groups Al-Haq and Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) as well as Palestinians in Gaza and the United States.

CCR sought an emergency injunction to stop the Biden administration from aiding the Israeli assault and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held a hearing last month. While Judge Jeffrey White ruled that the suit falls "outside the court's limited jurisdiction" and must be dismissed, he also found that Israel's military campaign "plausibly" amounts to genocide, echoing a recent conclusion at the International Court of Justice, where a case is ongoing.

"Since the filing of this lawsuit in November, the death toll in Gaza has nearly tripled, and all the while, the United States has continued to accelerate Israel's genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people of Gaza with its unconditional material, financial, and diplomatic assistance and cover," Sadaf Doost, an attorney and Bertha Justice fellow at CCR, noted in a statement Wednesday.

"The 9th Circuit's grant of our motion to expedite is important, as the dire and unlivable conditions in Gaza must be addressed urgently."

In response to the dismissal, CCR and co-counsel at Van Der Hout LLP asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to expedite their appeal. Doost stressed that "our expedited appeal to the 9th Circuit—seeking judicial review to make clear that no individual, not even the president of the United States, is above the law and all must comply with obligations to stop genocide—comes as the carnage and devastation in Gaza has reached unprecedented levels and requires urgent attention."

According to the legal group, the appellate court agreed to set an early June date for oral arguments in San Francisco.

"The 9th Circuit's grant of our motion to expedite is important, as the dire and unlivable conditions in Gaza must be addressed urgently," said Johnny Sinodis of Van Der Hout LLP. "Each day that the U.S. continues its unrestrained support of Israel, more and more innocent women and children are slaughtered by Israel's assault and indiscriminate bombing campaign."

"We are hopeful that the court will ultimately order the U.S. to fulfill its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention to prevent, and not be complicit in, the genocide that the world is witnessing taking place in Gaza," Sinodis explained.

Since October 7, while Biden has urged Israel to stop indiscriminately bombing Gaza, his administration has also blocked and opposed United Nations cease-fire resolutions, bypassed Congress to arm Israeli forces, and sought a package worth more than $14 billion—on top of the $3.8 billion in annual U.S. military aid to the Middle East nation.

The Israeli bombardment and blockade have killed approximately 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza and displaced the majority of the Hamas-governed enclave's 2.3 million residents, who now face limited access to food, water, healthcare, and shelter.

"Israeli forces are killing Palestinian children and their families at an unprecedented rate with President Biden's full support," DCIP general director Khaled Quzmar declared Wednesday. "Palestinian children that survive bombardment face death by starvation and disease as a direct result of Israeli government policies to deny humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza."

"While we welcome the expedited appeal," Quzmar added, "each day that passes without an end to Israel's genocidal campaign results in catastrophe for Palestinian children in Gaza."

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