The families of five Americans and Israeli-Americans killed or wounded by Arab terrorists in Israel since have filed suit against the social media giant Facebook, claiming one billion dollars in damages over the website’s failure to rein in on rampant pro-terror incitement.
The lawsuit, filed by the Shurat Hadin organization on behalf of the five families, contends that Facebook knowingly provided services to terrorists – including the Hamas organization – to spread anti-Israel incitement.
Citing the 1992 Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), which forbids all American corporations from providing any and all aid to terror groups or their leaders, the five families filed the suit Monday morning in a federal court in New York.
Shurat Hadin, a Tel Aviv-based law center, tracks anti-Israeli incitement and targets terror organizations and their backers in legal cases around the world.
The plaintiffs in the case claim the social media site is liable under the 1992 ATA for terror attacks carried out by the Hamas terror organization, which the suit notes has active accounts with Facebook and uses the website as a platform to spread its propaganda and incitement to violence.
The families behind the suit include the relatives of Taylor Force, an American Army veteran who was murdered in a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv in 2016; the family of Menachem Mendel Rivkin, who was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in Givat Zeev in 2016; relatives of Richard Leikin, a 76-year old man who was shot and killed by a terrorist on a bus in Jerusalem in 2015; the family of Chaya Zisel Braun, the baby murdered by a Hamas terrorist in Jerusalem in 2014, and relatives of Yaakov Naftali Frankel, one of the three youths kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in 2014.
While Monday’s lawsuit is the largest such claim made against Facebook, it is not the first suit faced by the social media giant in connection to terrorism.
Last month the family of Nohemi Gonzalez, a 23-year old California college student who was murdered in last year’s ISIS attack in Paris, sued Facebook, Twitter, and Google for providing what they called “material support” for the ISIS terror group.
The claim, which was filed in a federal court in California, was immediately rejected by all three defendants cited in the suit.
Facebook claims the company works “aggressively to remove” terrorist content “as soon as we become aware of it.”