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Second Circuit rules Israeli ex-security chief accused in bombing cannot be sued in US

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that former Israeli security chief Avraham Dichter cannot be sued in the US because he is immune under traditional common law. The decision affirms the ruling [opinion, PDF] of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website]. Dichter faced suit [complaint, PDF] by survivors of a 2002 Israeli bombing, the target of which was alleged Hamas leader Saleh Mustafah Shehadeh [advocacy profile]. Shehadeh was killed along with his wife and nine children when a bomb detonated in a densely populated section of Gaza City. Human rights groups have widely called the attack a war crime.

The Second Circuit's ruling came as Israel rejected [JURIST report] the UN Human Rights Council's proposed investigation into possible war crimes committed during the most recent Gaza conflict. The proposed investigation is the result of a report [text, PDF; JURIST report] authored by UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk that criticized Israel for failing to take adequate precautions to distinguish between civilians and combatants in their offensives in the region. Israel and the US are united in their condemnation [JURIST report] of the report's alleged lack of objectivity.

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