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Four sue Israel government over 2010 flotilla raid

[JURIST] Four individuals on Monday filed suit [complaint] against the government of Israel in US federal court over injuries they say they claim were inflicted by the Israeli Defense Forces during a deadly 2010 raid. The plaintiffs, Americans David Schermerhorn, Mary Ann Wright and Huwaida Arraf and Belgian national Margriet Deknopper, are seeking damages [Al Jazeera report] for their injuries caused by rubber bullets and stun grenades, among other things. Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that because the ship, an aid convoy called Challenger 1, was flying a US flag, US law should apply aboard the vessel. Lawyer, Steven Schneebaum, further called the attack illegal under international law and a war crime [WP report]. The complaint claims that more than 150 protesters were injured during the confrontation. The Challenger 1 was part of a six ship aid flotilla which was attempting to cross through Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip in which ten civilians were killed.

The May 2010 raid continues to generate controversy. In November a Spanish judge effectively issued an "arrest warrant" [JURIST report] for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ordering law enforcement to alert him if Netanyahu sets foot in the country, so that he may reopen the investigation into the attack. Earlier last year judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) asked [JURIST report] for the court's prosecutor to review her decision not to investigate the 2010 Israeli raid of a flotilla headed for the Gaza Strip. In 2014 a Turkish court called for international arrest warrants [JURIST report] for four former Israeli military chiefs involved in the interception. In 2012 a Turkish court opened the trial [JURIST report] in absentia for the former Israeli military commanders accused of killing nine Turkish citizens aboard the Mavi Marmara as it attempted to pass through the Gaza blockade. The UN criticized [JURIST report] Israel in 2011 for using excessive and unreasonable force during the interception. The UN Security Council called [JURIST report] for a "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation" into the raid in June 2010.

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