Al-Jazeera sued over Hezbollah ties, report


Victims of Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel during a 34-day war in 2006 charged al-Jazeera with helping the Shiite movement with its campaign, lawyers say.

Israeli forces reacted with overwhelming force in 2006 when Hezbollah abducted two Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah was able to strike targets deep inside Israel and hit naval targets from Lebanon, though the Israeli response was unmatched.

Plaintiffs in a case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan blame al-Jazeera for violating Israel security regulations by providing live coverage of Hezbollah missile strikes inside Israel.

Family members of U.S., Israeli and Canadian citizens who were killed or were themselves injured in the attacks blame al-Jazeera for working in Israel with the intent of providing Hezbollah with better information on Israeli targets.

“Al-Jazeera allowed itself to become a crucial component of the Hezbollah missile offensive,” said Israeli human rights lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. “The intent was to assist Hezbollah in targeting and killing civilians.”

The defense team says al-Jazeera is “widely acknowledged” for its anti-Israeli and anti-American coverage.

The conflict began July 12, 2006. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs says 44 Israeli civilians and 119 soldiers were killed in the conflict. U.N. figures put the Lebanese death toll at more than 1,200. UPI