Family of U.S. bombing victim wants ex-Israeli agent to testify

(JTA) — The family of an American teenager killed in a 2006 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv asked a U.S. federal court to reject Israel’s bid to block the testimony of a former Israeli intelligence official in a terrorism case.

The attorneys for the family of Daniel Wultz appeared in U.S. District Court in Washington on Tuesday trying to prevent Israel from blocking the testimony of Uzi Shaya in the terrorism financing lawsuit against the state-owned Bank of China.

The family is accusing the Bank of China of funding terrorist organizations through U.S. accounts.

Wultz, of Weston, Fla., was 16 when he died of injuries sustained in the bombing of a shwarma restaurant. Eleven people were killed in the suicide attack by a Palestinian bomber.

A similar lawsuit, and request to allow Shaya to testify, also has been filed by 22 families of terror victims seeking millions of dollars in damages. A guilty verdict under anti-terrorism laws could affect the bank’s ability to continue conducting business in the United States, according to The Associated Press.

Shaya, according to reports, alerted Chinese security officials in 2005 to suspicious transactions, including transfers of money to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israel says if Shaya is forced to testify, he could reveal state secrets. Shaya is not contesting the subpoena.

David Boies, an attorney for the Wultzes, argues that Shaya’s testimony has been disclosed previously by Israel and widely published.

In a written declaration to the court, the Wultz family said the government of Israel and the Mossad encouraged them to file the lawsuit and provided them with evidence, and that Shaya would testify. The family is accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of succumbing to pressure from China.

Israel has until Jan. 6 to file a response to the motion.

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