US court awards $111m to victims of Hezbollah attack

Americans alleged they were injured by rockets during group's 2006 war with Israel

Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in 2006. AP
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A US court has ordered the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to pay millions of dollars in damages to a group of Americans who said they were wounded by the group's rockets during a war with Israel in 2006.

The case was brought under the US Anti-Terrorism Act and alleged that Hezbollah caused the plaintiffs physical and emotional injury and damaged their property. The judge ordered Hezbollah to pay damages of $111 million to the plaintiffs.

Such civil lawsuits brought against militant groups are difficult to enforce but Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said it was an important legal victory against the Iran-backed group.

“Only by exacting a heavy price from those who engage in the business of terrorism can we prevent the suffering and loss of additional victims to their violence,” Ms Darshan-Leitner said in a statement.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006 during. Israel pounded targets in Lebanon, including the country's international airport and other civilian infrastructure, while Hezbollah launched thousands of rockets at cities and towns in Israel's north.

Israel still considers the heavily armed Shiite militant group to be a major threat and it threatened to inflict heavy damage on Lebanon if another war erupts.

In Friday's ruling, Judge Steven L Tiscione of the federal court in Brooklyn, New York, said the plaintiffs had successfully established that Hezbollah's actions were in breach of the anti-terrorism act and held the group liable.

A Hezbollah spokesman declined to comment.

Updated: September 20, 2022, 9:03 PM
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