Teen’s Family Sues Over 2008 Hamas Attack

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The family of an 18-year-old U.S. citizen who was one of nine students killed in a 2008 massacre in Jerusalem filed a federal complaint against Iran.
     Yonadav Hirshfeld was standing outside of the Mercaz Harev Yeshiva school in Jerusalem on March 6, 2008, when a gunman working with terrorist organization Hamas opened fire on the school. Hirshfeld ran inside after being shot but died before help could arrive, his family claims in July 10 complaint.
     Hamas, which the United States formally recognizes as a terrorist organization, seeks to replace Israel with an Islamic Palestinian state and has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in the area since its inception in 1987, according to the National Counter Terrorism Center.
     Hirshfeld’s family concedes that a Hamas operative pulled the trigger during the attack, but says Iran provided support necessary for the attack to take place.
     Iran allegedly provided weapons, training and funding to Hamas for the express purpose of carrying out the attack on Mercaz Harev Yeshiva.
     “The joint goal of the alliance is Islamic revolution through jihad, or violent and unrelenting struggle against Israel and the West,” the complaint states.
     Iran is one of three countries the U.S. State Department lists as a state sponsor of terrorism, a designation it has held since 1984.
     Hirshfeld’s family claims the relationship between Iran and Hamas dates back to 1988 when Iran allowed a delegation from the organization into the country as an “official representation.”
     In addition, the family claims the country’s Ministry of Information and Security and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has trained “hundreds” of operatives for Hamas and related organizations like Hezbollah.
     “Iran gave substantial aid, assistance, and encouragement to Hamas, and provided massive financial support to Hamas, and thereby aided Hamas and abetted Hamas, with the specific intention of causing and facilitating the commission of acts of extrajudicial killing and international terrorism including the terrorist attack at issue here,” the family alleges.
     The 13 members of the Hirshfeld family listed as plaintiffs in the suit seek $100 million in damages under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
     Their attorney, Paul Gaston, has not returned a request for comment.

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