Damages sought from Sheldon Adelson and others for financing construction of settlements on Palestinian soil.
New York, US - A group of Palestinians has launched an ambitious $34.5bn lawsuit against US-based tycoons, charities and firms for supporting Israeli land grabs, settlement-building and other violations of Palestinians` rights these past four decades.
They seek damages from Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson; Irving Moskowitz, a philanthropist with property interests in East Jerusalem; and mega church pastor John Hagee for financing the construction of settlements on Palestinian soil.
Lawyers also name such charities as Christian Friends of Israeli Communities and private firms, including Dead Sea-based cosmetics maker Ahava, UK-based security firm G4S and the industrial powerhouse Israel Chemicals Limited.
We`re not in this for the money, but we`ll probably pick the pockets of some very wealthy corporations, Martin McMahon, a lawyer for the complainants from the firm Martin McMahon and Associates, told Al Jazeera on Monday.
It`s about time that the world woke up to the fact that Palestinians are being murdered every day with US taxpayer dollars.
The case is brought by Bassem al-Tamimi, an activist, and about 35 other Palestinians and Palestinian Americans who say they have seen their loved ones killed by Israeli forces and lost their land to settlers and business and construction schemes.
They allege five counts of conspiracy, war crimes, aggravated trespass, pillage and racketeering via various legal mechanisms, including laws against organised crime and US entities linked with overseas human rights abuses.
Al Jazeera contacted Adelson, Hagee and some of the four dozen charities, firms and individuals named in the case but spokespeople were not immediately able to comment.
The suit was filed in the Federal District Court of Washington DC on Monday.
The pro-Palestinian lawyers said they expected protracted legal arguments over the court’s jurisdiction and potential dismissal proceedings.
A trial, possibly by jury, would likely not take place for five years, they said.
We have cases going that have lasted 13 years, so we are used to long cases, Jameson Fox, another lawyer for the Palestinians, told Al Jazeera.
In a statement, al-Tamimi, said he was tortured and jailed for staging protests at Halamish, a West Bank settlement.
Doaa Abu-Amar, another complainant, lost 14 family members when Israeli forces bombed a day-care centre during the 2009 assault on Gaza, it is claimed.
Ahmed al-Zeer was beaten and left disabled by settlers who attacked him outside the settlement of Ofra, it is claimed.
Susan Abulhawa, another complainant and poet, said she sought official recognition of Palestinian suffering.
I want a court, somewhere, somehow, to hold accountable those who have financed my pain of dispossession and exile and to hold accountable the financiers of Israel`s wholesale theft of another people`s historic, material, spiritual, and emotional presence in the world, Abulhawa said in a statement.