A U.S. federal court rejected a war-crimes suit filed against a
senior Israeli official. The U.S. District Court in Manhattan this week
ruled that Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter has immunity from a suit
filed by foreign nationals because he is an Israeli government official.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, an
American advocacy group working on behalf of Palestinian complainants, had
asked the court to order Dichter to be prosecuted for his role in a 2002
Israeli airstrike on the home of Saleh Shehada, a top Hamas terrorist in Gaza.
Fourteen civilians also died in the attack, which Dichter helped plan as
Shin Bet chief at the time. Israel argued that the killings were Shehada’s responsibility because he hid in densely populated areas.The suit was filed in 2005, when Dichter was
on a fellowship in the United States.