Two Ex-Federal Attorneys Call for U.S. To Prosecute Hamas for Kidnapping and Murdering Americans

By Allan Lengel

A former Justice Department attorney and an ex-State Department lawyer are calling for the Justice Department to prosecute Hamas for kidnapping and murdering U.S. citizens in Israel and Gaza.

American Hersh Goldberg-Pollin

In a guest column in The Hill, Steven Pelak, a former assistant U.S. Attorney and deputy chief of the DOJ’s Counterespionage Section, and Orde Kittrie, a former State Department attorney write:

Publicly available evidence demonstrates that Hamas’s principal leaders, including those residing in Qatar and Turkey, are responsible for the ongoing hostage-taking of U.S. citizens in violation of U.S. law. President Biden, acting through the Justice Department, should immediately announce and pursue the prosecutions of culpable Hamas leaders. He should demand that Doha and Ankara provisionally arrest and detain them to facilitate U.S. custody for criminal prosecution.

Hamas holds hostage nearly 240 men, women and children, including nine or 10 U.S. citizens, who the terrorist group seized in Israel on Oct. 7. In addition, among the more than 1,200 people Hamas murdered in Israel on Oct. 7 were at least 33 U.S. citizens, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Those acts constitute violations of federal criminal laws, prohibiting hostage-taking and murders of U.S. citizens, for which the culpable leaders and planners should be held to account.    

To read the full column click here.

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